Every logistics company that works with cold must always study all transport operations to avoid damage to perishable products. Maintaining the cold chain throughout the entire process, from packaging to the consumer, is a priority. In this context, packaging plays a very important role in maintaining an optimal temperature. A premise based on the professionalism that large operators who work with cold have in mind, as is the case of RFL, experts in customised logistics solutions.
Land, sea and air transport have different structures to keep food fresh throughout the transport chain. Innovations in materials and packaging designs, bio-engineering (ripening control) or other techniques that reduce the deterioration of food products have contributed to extending the reach of import/export agents of perishable products.
Factors such as transit time, size of the load and ambient temperature are important in deciding what type of packaging is appropriate. With an increasing number of countries exporting food and fresh produce, the refrigeration industry is constantly updating to properly cover all markets.
In addition, many analysts foresee an expansion in the trade of perishable products that will further boost the demand for cold chain packaging in the coming years.
Type of materials
Today the global market for cold chain packaging is segmented according to the type of material, product and type of application. Among the materials suitable for transporting products at controlled temperatures are XPS (extruded polystyrene foam) and EPS (expanded polystyrene). Polystyrene is a thermoplastic polymer with a high insulating power. There are four types but the two most used for the transport of cold products are XPS and EPS. Both share most of the properties: strong, very light, shock-absorbing and hygienic materials. The main difference lies in the impermeability: greater in the case of XPS.
Other materials used for transporting fresh and frozen products are EPP (expanded polypropylene), which also has a high resistance to temperature changes, in addition to polyethylene, foam, cardboard, aluminium or polypropylene.