An analysis of the influence of logistics activities on the export cold chain of temperature sensitive fruit through the Port of Cape Town
CITATION: Goedhals-Gerber, L. L., Haasbroek, L., Freiboth, H. & Van Dyk, E. 2015. An analysis of the influence of logistics activities on the export cold chain of temperature sensitive fruit through the Port of Cape Town. Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management, 9(1), Art. #201, doi:10.4102/jtscm.v9i1.201.
The original publication is available at http://www.jtscm.co.za
Background: South Africa exports a large variety of different fruit types and cultivars worldwide. Yet, there is concern in the South African fruit industry that too much fruit and money is lost each year due to breaks along the fresh fruit export cold chain. Objective: The objective of this article was to identify the influence of logistics activities on breaks along the South African fruit export cold chain. The focus is specifically on temperature sensitive fruit, exported in refrigerated containers to Europe and the United Kingdom through the Port of Cape Town. This supply chain was selected as this was the most accessible supply chain in terms of retrieving the necessary temperature data. Method: The cold chain was investigated from the cold store, through all segments, until the Port of Cape Town. Temperature data collected with temperature monitoring devices from different fruit export supply chains of grapes, plums and pome fruit (apples and pears) were analysed to identify the percentage of temperature breaks and the length of temperature breaks that occur at each segment of the cold chain. Results: The results show that a large number of breaks are experienced along South Africa’s fruit export cold chain, specifically at the interface between the cold store and the truck. In addition, the findings also show that there has been an improvement in the number of breaks experienced in the Port of Cape Town following the implementation of the NAVIS and Refcon systems. Conclusion: This article concludes by providing the fruit industry with areas that require addressing to improve operational procedures along the fruit export cold chain to help ensure that the fruit arrives at its final destination at optimal quality.