It seems like something of an oxymoron. Starting up a business now, in this climate after everything we’ve just been through a planet. However, truth, as they say, is far stranger than fiction, and as it turns out, this just happens to be one the best times in modern history to start a new business.
So, the words “logistics”, “supply chain”, and “cold storage” hardly strike an inspirational fire the likes of which Vulcan would be proud of, but take a look at these five new startups in cold storage and cold-chain supply logistics from right around the globe, and get yourself some courage!
INPROUS – Temperature Controlled Packaging
For our first case study, we go to Spain to see how this company addresses the ever-changing needs of the packaging industry. As the sector worldwide moves to become greener, more sustainable, and “smart” simultaneously, this has given budding entrepreneurs and visionaries a whole new level of creativity to aspire to. Take a look at this article out of the United States to get an idea of just how rapidly this element of product and brand management is evolving – and the profit-making potential is rising.
So INPROUS develops ecologically sound and specialised packaging solutions for a wide range of industries. Pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic laboratories and hospitals, to name just a few of their clients, have highly technical logistical requirements that, by nature of their storage needs, can at times fall foul of environmental goals.
They also provide a range of reusable thermal containers that can be remotely monitored, taking the stress from rotational planning and monitoring. Genius.
CLOUDTRACK – Temperature Monitoring
Now we go from Spain across the ocean to India.
CloudTrack has developed highly sophisticated temperature monitoring systems through the “Software-as-a-Service” (SAAS) platform. In today’s age where goods have to make it across large distances, and where that distance could exponentially increase the “risk factor” for insurers, ensuring precisely monitored and delivered temperature control in cold storage logistics is critical.
CloudTracks system offers real-time monitoring and reporting of cold storage to preset levels. As soon as there are deviances from these levels, the system communicates with the client via SMS or phone call to let them know of the event. Their system dramatically reduces the chances of produce or pharmaceutical products arriving damaged or worse.
SOLARFREEZE – Sustainable Mobile Cold Chain
Tulips from Amsterdam are lovely, but chances are – you’re getting them from Kenya. The East African country has positioned itself as a significant player in the global floral trade. This has meant innovations in how these beautiful blooms make it all the way from Africa to Europe and beyond.
Enter “SolarFreeze”. This company develops solar-powered cold storage units. The electricity generated by photovoltaic panels is stored in the form of ice to keep the flowers chilled in non-solar hours. These units are used for all types of perishables, not just flowers, and they communicate with farmers in real-time via an “app”.
SmartCAE – Simulated Temperature Control
Back to Europe now, where German company SmarCAE creates sophisticated virtual models of the cold chain for testing and optimisation purposes, a critical element of the entire cold-chain supply business.
Ensuring that quality and freshness remain as near perfect as possible throughout the cold-chain logistics function is an ongoing challenge for companies in this field. As a product moves from farmer/producer to transport, storage, transport back to the warehouse and finally to destination, there are many potential areas in that chain where things can go less than desired. SmartCAE offers software tools that analyse the performance of packaging by simulating the conditions of an insulated shipping system.
HashMove – Smart Third Party Logistics
Ask anyone involved with shipping, transporting or getting anything from one location to another, and they’ll likely tell you that they preferred getting a root canal. Then, when you add in the more significant challenge of temperature-controlled storage and transportation, well, you could make that a double-root canal.
It’s expensive, cumbersome and tough to keep a handle on all of the moving parts and moreover, requires a team of specifically trained personnel. This means that companies are outsourcing to third party logistics providers instead of having to refit and rekitt their own operations with the latest AI/Software solutions. HashMove develops platforms for manufacturers and suppliers so that they can collaborate with logistics providers, in order to outsource their coldchain logistics. They also provide real-time monitoring and reporting including location tracking. The great thing about their software is that it interacts with the IoT (the internet of things), so you’re getting an holistic structure of useable data.
Right around the world, the logistics industry and all of the associated industries are set to explode. Especially in the developing world where many of the raw materials and resources that the industrialised world needs to operate, originate from. “The Times” of India has a very good read that you can find, here.
For the budding entrepreneur the time has almost never been as right, as right now. Retail, business services, solutions based suppliers and information technology industries are all tipped to see massive gains in the coming years. When you expand your way of thinking all the way down the processes that are involved in restarting the planet, one can barely contain the excitement.
Logistics and all of the associated industries that feed this industry is set to be a big gainer so if you’ve been thinking about expanding, diversifying or restarting you may want to think about getting in on the action and providing solutions where Compressed Air Treatment is a necessity.
OK, that was somewhat lighthearted because clearly logistics is not an industry for everyone, but this post goes to show you, and this is especially true if you’ve had a particularly tough run of the last year, that hope is not lost. The world of business is screaming to get restarted and that means entrepreneurs the world over are realigning, redesigning and reevaluating what the “new normal” commercial landscape is going to look like.
And so, can you.