Logistics challenges in fruits and vegetables industry

November 17, 2020

Logistics is one of the greatest challenges facing any company that distributes any physical object. In the case of perishable goods such as fruit and vegetables it is even more difficult, as conditions of temperature, light and humidity have to be respected, from the time the product leaves the field until it reaches the consumer's table.

 The implementation of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, fed by the huge amount of consumption pattern data that weconstantly generate through our smartphones, can minimize the amounts of food that are wasted. But undoubtedly , the factor that can influence the most when it comes to reducing food waste is the efficiency and coordination of production and marketing processes.

 Currently, logistics must be tackled from two angles: large-scale logistics and last mile delivery. Understanding aslarge-scale logistics the transport of merchandise to the store or warehouse,and the last mile delivery , in terms of transport to the consumer's home.

 As Iñigo explained in last week's Consentio Talks podcast, that the technologies that enable an increase in large-scale logistics control are becoming more advanced and their cost is progressively decreasing. The information collected by sensors that accompany the product throughout the journey, as well as the transmission of this data in real time to the cloud, allow detecting any anomaly that would otherwise have damaged the product.

 The food logistics network has shown its strength throughout the pandemic period, but there are always nuances to improve. Enrique Colilles, Trops CEO, affirms that we cannot depend exclusively onroad transport, and that it would be very interesting to develop a more efficient railway network , which depends on fewer people.

 The second angle consists of home delivery (last mile delivery). In recent years, consumer demand is constantly increasing. Amazon has raised the standards of the retail industry, getting the customer used to receiving the order in 2 hours. When we talk about perishables, the complexity rises exponentially. Poor demand prediction can cause large amounts of fruit tobe wasted. The standardization of e-commerce is forcing companies to bring the product to the consumer's door. A challenge that, if not carried out in anefficient way, can destroy sales margins and, therefore, the company.  

 As we stated last week, only those who best adapt to the new environment will survive. The case of Mercadona and the launch of its subsidiary Mercadona Tech, exclusively dedicated to electronic commerce, corroborates this. This is not an easy challenge that involves the digitizationof the entire logistics chain . A perfectly synchronized dance between suppliers, transporters, warehouse managers and home delivery people . A race against the clock that begins whem the product is collected. In a very brief way , it could be broken down in the following steps:

 -Catalogue management and customer service.

-Buying process, including the payment gateway.

-Stock provisioning , which requires a close relationship with suppliers.

-Preparation of orders.

-Delivery to the client, also known as last mile delivery.

 

Fresh food industry  faces a huge challenge challenge, offer a quality product will not be enough . The user experience when receiving an order will also be an essential requirement, in a scenario in which online sales are increasing day by day. Opportunity or threat for your company?

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