How to solve the high cost of fresh cold food chain?With the rapid development of consumption upgrades and cold-chain logistics, the fresh e-commerce industry is welcoming the golden development period and is also burdened with heavy cost pressures.

Comprehensive costs cannot be ignored

Due to the special requirements of transportation, the cost of cold chain logistics is higher than that of normal temperature logistics. It is inevitable. When considering such costs, it is necessary not only to consider a single logistics cost, but also to consider the differences in the cost structure of the upstream
companies, as well as the comprehensive costs such as cargo damage, cargo difference, and even operating efficiency due to the different quality of logistics services.

The high cost of cold-chain logistics is still the biggest pain point that plagued the development of the industry, which also constrains the development of upstream fresh e-commerce to a certain extent. From the perspective of the industrial chain of cold chain logistics, high costs are mainly reflected in the cold chain storage and circulation links in the middle and lower reaches. The cost of cold storage construction is high, the investment in cold chain equipment such as refrigerated trucks is large, and the cold chain technology requirements are relatively high. As a result, the logistics costs are greatly increased. In addition, once the loss rate of fresh produce is increased, it is unbearable for a fresh e-commerce company.

At present, many companies have begun to try to reduce costs and increase efficiency, explore different modes and paths, so as to reduce cost pressures for fresh e-commerce companies.

Produce warehouse investment

From the perspective of the whole process of cold chain logistics, cold storage investment is the highest in the proportion of cold chain investment. As the basis of cold chain logistics, cold storage is also the infrastructure in the cold chain process of the whole process and plays a crucial role in various aspects such as storage, processing and transportation.

Due to the characteristics of commodity circulation of fresh and perishable agricultural products, the construction of cold storage in production areas is more serious than the problem of the construction of cold storage in the market, and the short board of basic equipment is more obvious. According to industry insiders, there is no “last mile” without the “first mile”, and pre-cooling, as a pre-storage treatment method, is an indispensable link for the storage and transportation of low-temperature cold chains in agricultural products. It plays a key role in the “first kilometer” and is also affected by the construction of the market for agricultural products and the construction of pre-cooling storage areas.

The most important reason behind the pre-cooling of production areas is the high construction cost of pre-cooling storage, especially the air-conditioned storage needed for agricultural products, which costs more than the normal cold storage. The investment of tens of millions of yuan is unbearable for agricultural cooperatives or peasant households that produce agricultural products.

Affected by this, pre-cooling of agricultural production areas in China is still “a piece of paper.” It is reported that at present, the pre-cooling and preservation rate of agricultural products in China is only 30%, not only well below 80% of developed countries in Europe and America, but also the pre-cooling technology is relatively backward. In addition, the “first kilometer” cold chain infrastructure of agricultural products is not perfect, and agricultural products can not be pre-cooled, sorted, packaged, and standardized in the first time after harvest, resulting in an annual natural loss of agricultural products in China exceeding 300 billion yuan.

In this regard, industry sources have said that the best way to lift the cost of cold chain logistics should be to encourage the construction of cold storage areas.
The government, cold chain logistics companies and distributors should jointly increase investment in the construction of cold storage areas.

Fortunately, in the voice of the representatives of the two sessions this year, representatives of several companies expressed their views on strengthening the construction of rural logistics infrastructure, and many e-commerce companies have also started to implement the practice of building production areas and warehouses.

Explore the path to lower costs

In recent years, the prospect of the cold chain logistics industry has been very promising. There have been more and more players in the domestic cold chain logistics industry, and different exploration paths have been explored. For example, the traditional express logistics companies, fresh e-commerce self-built logistics companies, and food and pharmaceutical suppliers self-built logistics companies.

The order size effect brought about by the development of the fresh e-commerce industry will reduce the marginal cost of cold-chain logistics service providers and form a positive cycle. Part of the self-built cold chain logistics will be gradually opened, and the more mature self-built cold chain logistics will be opened for self-built logistics and become a third-party logistics service provider. This is a way to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
In addition to the fresh e-commerce companies, it is not uncommon for self-built cold-chain logistics in upstream manufacturing companies, such as some food and pharmaceutical companies with strong economic strength. In recent years, corporate logistics has been open to the society and transformed into logistics companies.
This will inevitably lead to cost reduction considerations. For example, the fresh cold chain is developed from Henan Zhongpin Food Co., Ltd. This type of logistics company is responsible for the whole process of logistics cold chain transportation, and the introduction of external orders can effectively reduce the no-load ratio of refrigerated trucks and ultimately reduce the company’s costs.

In addition, in the cold chain logistics link, many links still can not be separated from the traditional express logistics companies. In the field of normal temperature transportation, it is often possible to help companies of different sizes to effectively save costs through co-provisioning. However, in the pure cold-chain logistics field, to reduce costs through co-provisioning, higher requirements are placed on the fine management of enterprises. At present, there is no very mature operation mode in the industry. And in the actual process of urban distribution, the distribution scenario facing is often more complicated. Whether it is a retail enterprise or a catering enterprise customer, it often has the requirements of multi-temperature warehousing and distribution, which further tests the distribution capabilities of logistics enterprises.