The concept involves a toll-free call in number where any enroute transporter can call in to register a complaint. The complaint recording mechanism is limited to those where in-transit checks caused undue delay to the shipment, where documentation checks were not facilitated, where the cold chamber doors were opened for inspection. The idea is to obtain such data specific to regions and states within the country and implement corrective regulatory measures that can mitigate such delays.
This idea was first reported about in the Indian news paper Business Standard in July 2013 and has recently been written about in the industry magazine LogisticsTimes in October 2013.
It is understood that the concept owner, the National Centre for Cold-chain Development is investigating participation from private sector as implementation partners, preferably from those who have a developmental strategy for cold chain in the country.
India has one of the largest network of cold storage capacity in the world, is the second largest producer of farm foods globally and yet suffers high inflationary pressure on its food items. This is evidently because the high production levels are not matched with appropriate supply chain processes. Wherever cold chain systems are used, the delays in road shipments negates the shelf life enhanced. A run from Bangalore in the south to New Delhi in the north, a road distance of 1100 miles (1750 kms) can take one week on carrier trucks. Such long transit times add risk and cause unnecessary wastage of perishable items and make the cold chain inefficient or even ineffective.
This direction from NCCD is one of many that will help identify the missing inks in India's cold chain and is expected to add value to cold chain operators.