Is the preservation method of "foam box plus dry ice pack" feasible?
For the current fresh e-commerce, money seems to be in short supply, but the problem is that the service has not kept up. A Norwegian chilled salmon needs a complicated turnaround from processing and delivery to delivery to consumers. How to ensure freshness has become one of the technical thresholds for the development of fresh e-commerce.
"The whole cold chain" is an important guarantee for the preservation of fresh e-commerce food, and the construction and maintenance of the cold chain require huge capital investment. In order to make up for the shortcomings of the cold chain, the combination of "foam box and dry ice bag" has become the mainstream mode of distribution of fresh products. However, such fresh parcels are often mixed in ordinary express delivery. When the weather is hot or the delivery is overtime, there is a risk that the dry ice pack will thaw and the fresh food will deteriorate.
For the current fresh e-commerce, money seems to be lacking, but the problem is that the service has not kept up.
"Foam box with dry ice pack"
Do fresh products undergo the process of leaving the factory, transhipment, storage and distribution, is the whole cold chain continuous? Is the e-commerce cold chain logistics self-built cold chain, or rely on third parties?
SF Express and COFCO Womai told reporters that "all of its fresh produce is self-built cold chain logistics and distribution", while Tmall supermarket and Original Life are both self-operated cold chain and rely on third-party logistics and distribution. In other words, with the exception of Tiantian Orchard, which has not yet replied to this publication, all four home appliance manufacturers claim that the fresh food transportation process is a whole-process cold chain.
"If e-commerce has a self-built cold chain, temperature and humidity control will be more active and comprehensive during the distribution of fresh food. However, only a few domestic fresh e-commerce companies can plan and layout cold chain logistics. The whole cold chain is even less." Lu Zhenwang, CEO of Wanqing Consulting, told our reporter.
Among a total of 45 volunteers recruited by this journal in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, a total of 68% of the volunteers received fresh food delivered by the "foam box plus dry ice bag" insulation method.
"At present, plastic foam boxes and dry ice packs are still the mainstream after the last mile has been sent. This method is regarded as an upgraded version of the traditional "big quilt preservation". If it is long-distance transportation or a professional refrigerated vehicle is needed, otherwise, it can only be called It is a half-way cold chain." Yang Daqing, a special researcher of the China Logistics Society, told reporters.
In Lu Zhenwang's view, the "full-range cold chain" must include every link of raw materials, processing, handover, transportation, and sales. The preservation method of plastic foam boxes and dry ice bags alone can only be called chilled.
As a cold chain distribution logistics provider in the Guangdong region, a person in charge of the Wei Special Mission in the Guangdong region, who has a cooperative relationship with fresh e-commerce companies such as life, beautiful kitchens, and Liangshi, told reporters, "In the Pearl River Delta region, the Micro Special Mission Fresh food will be delivered in a full cold chain within 24 hours, but the farther east and west of Guangdong still need to use a foam box to add dry ice packs to keep warm."
Why can't cold chain construction be fully covered? Lu Zhenwang believes that cost is the key factor restricting cold chain construction. "Refrigerator trucks, temperature-controlled freezer rooms and the maintenance of these devices require a lot of capital investment. Ordinary players simply cannot afford it." He said.
Each delivery method has advantages and disadvantages
The subjective experience process carried out in this journal shows that SF Express is preferably delivered by three-wheeled trucks carrying refrigerated containers, and the remaining four home appliance makers are all delivered by foam boxes and dry ice bags. For these two delivery methods, the evaluation volunteers have mixed reviews.
Beijing volunteer Mr. Cheng said: "The taste of salmon is very fresh. There is no dry ice pack included, but when taking the goods, I saw the courier brother take it out of the refrigerator in the car." Beijing volunteer Ms Fei commented: "Salmon delivery Although it came out in a separate package, it was still cold." She expected that the courier had just taken it out of the refrigerator downstairs.
Some consumers also said that they could not adapt to the "bare packaging" of online shopping for fresh food. Shanghai Volunteer Ms Zou said: "Fresh foods are not accompanied by dry ice packs and are packed in plastic shopping bags for delivery of beef tendons." Ms Li from the Beijing area said: "If the weather is hot, you cannot cover the express plastic bags. If there is no dry ice pack for short-term storage, just put it in the refrigerator in time."
In this evaluation of this journal, most of the express volunteers who received the "foam box plus dry ice bag" were satisfied with it, but this packaging method is not foolproof. For example, in the evaluation of fresh products sent to the testing organization by the journal, in addition to the SF selection of cold chain distribution, the other 4 home appliance manufacturers, which are mainly packed in foam boxes and dry ice bags, have mixed delivery with other ordinary express delivery.
"Generally, the insulation method of the foam box and dry ice pack can only last for 4 to 6 hours at 0°C~6°C. When the weather is hot, or the courier delivers it as a normal express delivery, the fresh food product will be deteriorated if the time limit of the dry ice pack insulation is exceeded. Risk. In contrast, the insulation of professional refrigerators is more reliable and safe," pointed out the person in charge of the surname Wu in Guangdong. For example, the beef tendon and salmon sold in Tiantian Orchard had thawed when it was delivered to the laboratory of a third-party testing institution this time. The surface temperature of the beef tendon when unpacking was 7℃ and the salmon reached 9.2℃.