Indian Cold Chain Scenario

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Indian cold chain: modeling the inhibitors
Rohit Joshi, Devinder Kumar Banwet and Ravi Shankar
Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, New Delhi, India Abstract
Purpose – The cold chain has become an integral part of the supply chain of perishable items. Recent studies have shown a critical absence of a strong and dependable cold chain in developing economies. The purpose of this paper is to set out to identify and inter-relate the inhibitors that significantly influence the efficiency of a cold chain in developing economies like India. Design/methodology/approach – The synthesis and prioritization of inhibitors are done on the basis of an extensive literature review as well as consultation with academicians and industrial professionals. Using semi-structured interviews and Fuzzy Interpretive Structure Modeling (FISM) approach, the research presents a hierarchy-based model. Findings – The end result is a model that establishes the relationships among the identified inhibitors with their respective dominance. The research shows that there exists a group of inhibitors having a high driving power and low dependence with strategic importance and requiring maximum attention and another group includes inhibitors that have high dependence and the consequential actions. Research limitations/implications – At the time when cold chain is the key domain for the food sector, these findings will be immensely helpful for industry professionals, Government, non-government, academia and the community in developing strategies and impounding the root causes responsible for the inefficient and weak cold chain in India. The Indian situation echoes to the situation in most of the developing economies and similar solutions can apply there also. These findings will be truly useful for organizations that are planning to operate food chains in developing nations. Orignality/value – Presentation of inhibitors in hierarchy and their classification into driver and dependent categories with their respective dominance on the system is a unique effort in the area of cold chain management. This would help decision makers to better utilize the limited resources. Keywords Supply chain management, Modelling, India Paper type Research paper


British Food Journal Vol. 111 No. 11, 2009 pp. 1260-1283 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0007-070X DOI 10.1108/00070700911001077

Introduction A supply chain of perishable items is referred to as a “cold chain”. A cold chain protects a wide variety of food, pharmaceutical, and chemical products from degradation, improper exposure to temperature, humidity, light or particular contaminants to keep them frozen, chilled and fresh (Bishara, 2006). Any disorder in time-distance or temperature in the chain could hamper the net present value of the activities and their added value in the cold chain (Bogataj et al., 2005). The basic difference between the supply chain of non-perishable items and the cold chain is the possibility of degradation in quality and value of the product, which start from the producer’s place till it is consumed. (Table I). The cold chain starts at the farm level (e.g. harvest methods, pre-cooling) and covers up to the consumer level (cooling practices and The authors are grateful to the reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions, which have helped to improve the paper.

Supply chain of non-perishables Includes temperature-insensitive products like nuts, bolts, m/s and equipments Produce information regarding transaction (order, shipment, payment) and location (warehouse, traffic, inventory) No degradation in value while in transport Less transportation cost as ordinary trucks, vehicles are used Can bear being stuck in traffic jam Different products can be loaded based on the space available Stops as the product reaches customer

Cold chain Includes temperature-sensitive items like plantand animal-based product Cold...
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