Contract Logistics

We Ensure Secure and Reliable Global Cold Chain Logistics

This white paper explores how sea and air transportation of chilled/frozen meat and poultry products works as they require strict quality control and what values Samsung SDS, a leading logistics company with advanced technologies, can offer in cold chain logistics.

With the rise of middle class families and growing demand for fresh food around the world, the global cold chain market has grown by 4% a year. Since 2015, it has shown an annual growth rate of 7 percent and is expected to grow to a market of 308 trillion won ($234.5 billion) by 2020.

In the U.S. and Japan, 95 to 98 percent of fresh food are transported through a cold chain. In China where cold chain systems haven’t been fully developed yet, it is as low as 32% on average. On the flip side though, this suggests that China’s cold chain market has so much growth potential.

Currently, there’re more than 1,600 cold chain companies competing in the Chinese market. Yet there aren’t large leading logistics companies capable of providing integrated cold chain logistics services. The situation is almost the same in other developing countries with extensive food resources, such as India, Vietnam, Brazil and Peru.

By item, a wide range of goods – milk and other dairy products, fruits and vegetables, flowers, meat, poultry and marine products, pharmaceuticals, vaccines – use cold chain transportation. In this white paper, we’re going to look at cold chain logistics focusing on international transportation of chilled/frozen meat and poultry products.

In Korea, 71% of its pork imports come from the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands and Spain while beef is mostly imported from Australia. As people start to have positive perception on imported meat, demand for affordable and quality chilled/frozen meat products has continued to rise by about 50 percent during the last decade.

Imports of Chilled/Frozen Meat and Poultry in Korea

As you can imagine, it is not so easy to transport meat and meat products all the way to Korea, keeping them fresh and safe at controlled temperatures. When you ship refrigerated and frozen meat products from processing factories in an exporting country to end customers in an importing country, the meat products need to be stored and kept at a designated temperature during all transportation processes. And this requires an advanced level of logistics management and logistics technologies.

This white paper explores how chilled/frozen meat are transported via sea and air and what values Samsung SDS can offer in temperature controlled freight shipping with its advanced logistics technologies.

Example of Storage Temperatures for Perishable Goods

Cold Chain: Sea Freight Import/Export

Sea Transport Process

Chilled/frozen meat imports or exports are typically shipped by sea. In addition to general sea transport processes, chilled/frozen meat products go through quarantine and inspection at the importing/exporting country. The detailed processes are described in Figure below.

In particular, when packaging and loading onto a container in an exporting country, a strict compliance with the quarantine and sealing rules of an importing country is essential to pass the final customs clearance at the destination. If they fail, they are

Import & Export Processes of Chilled/Frozen Goods by Sea Transport

Requirements in Transporting Meat Imports/Exports by Sea

1. Maintain temperatures

Meat and poultry products go through ocean transportation processes similar to those of general cargo. However, to keep their temperature low throughout the entire shipping, they are transported in reefer containers and stored in container freight station equipped with power supply.

2. Manage free time of reefer containers

Reefer containers have a relatively shorter free time in container yard (CY) compared to commonly used dry containers. If errors occur in the management of CY in/out dates per container, you might end up paying DEM1)/DET2) as well as high electricity bill. In order to prevent this from happening, on-time truck scheduling and CY in/out operation are required.

1) DEM: Demurrage is penalty for exceeding free days allowed for taking delivery of a shipment from the carrier’s container yard.
2) DET: Detention is a charge levied by the carrier in cases where importers have taken the full container for unpacking but have not returned the empty container before the expiry of the free days allowed.

Cold Chain: Air Freight Import/Export

Air Transport Process

In most cases, meat and poultry imports/exports are transported by sea as sea freight costs relatively less. However, air transport is used in cases below:

1) Imported shipment volumes are smaller than a container.
2) High-end meat or meat products are imported.
3) The shelf life of the meat or poultry products is much shorter than others.

Import & Export Processes of Chilled/Frozen Goods by Air Transport

Requirements in Transporting Meat Imports/Exports by Air

1. Packaging and weight limits

When shipping chilled/frozen meat and poultry by air, dry ice is used to keep the shipments refrigerated or frozen in the air ULD. For instance, if you load shipments into a 1.2-ton ULD, you need 100kg of dry ice per day for chilled goods and 50kg of dry ice per day for frozen goods. In addition, because dry ice is classified as dangerous goods, a maximum of 500kg of dry ice is allowed to be shipped per aircraft. Thus, a maximum of 5 ULDs in case of frozen goods and 10 ULDs in case of chilled goods are allowed in an aircraft.

2. Arrival date adjustment

Most cold storage/warehouse operators don’t receive goods during weekend. Same as in sea freight, warehousing fees for chilled/frozen goods are 1.5 times more expensive compared to general cargo. Thus, arrival date of air shipments needs to be adjusted so that they are received to a warehouse during Monday to Thursday and are shipped outbound before weekend and that no unnecessary warehousing fees are incurred.

Values Samsung SDS Offers in Cold Chain

As demand for fresh and safe food increases and the cold chain market grows, logistics companies today provide not just transportation services but also technology-driven ‘smart logistics’ services in order to lead the global market. Samsung SDS is one of the leading logistics companies in the world that adopt advanced systems in cold chain management and leverage new technologies such as IoT and big data in logistics operation.

Using temperature/humidity monitoring IoT devices installed in refrigerated/frozen containers, Samsung SDS provides advanced cold chain services by connecting data from these IoT devices with Cello IoT platform.

Cello IoT Devices

Data transmitted from IoT devices in real time are stored in Cello platform, and we share the data with relevant parties, including shippers and customers. If temperatures fluctuate for more than a certain range during transport, especially transshipment or power supply replacement, an alarm is sent to our control tower.

By closely monitoring this data, Samsung SDS adjusts temperatures and responds quickly to emergencies – for example, emergency shipping in case when food shipments are expected to deteriorate or perish. With system-based temperature/humidity management from outbound shipping to int’l transportation to warehousing, Samsung SDS ensures secure and reliable cold chain logistics.

Temperature Movement Records on Cello IoT Platform


Today, a growing number of items require cold chain transportation, such as pharmaceutical products, flowers, chemicals, etc. Among others, transport demand for fruits and vegetables, meat and marine products is increasing fast. With the recent rise of interest in healthy eating and wellness, consumers these days demand greater reliability for food products they buy and for their origin.

In line with this trend, it has become a key factor for a number of companies involving food supply chain to be able to transport perishable food products as fresh as possible and on time.

With its own logistics solutions and integrated logistics platform Cello, shipment visibility and IoT-based connetivity, Samsung SDS provides distinctive values in cold chain logistics. It keeps accumulating extensive experience and knowhow, handling warehousing and inland transportation in South East Asia for one of major Korean food and beverage companies.


To find out more about Cold Chain Logistics of Samsung SDS, visit and download the white paper.



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