Recognizing that the Philippines is an archipelago with more than 7,000 islands, an effective cold chain logistics system is vital for the upgrading of the country’s food, dairy, fruits and vegetables, pharmaceutical and other perishable products industries. There is still a need to provide efficient refrigerated transport from the farms or factories to the regional distributors and ultimately, that last-mile delivery to the outlets and the customers. This was disclosed by Vic Belisario, Senior Sales Manager of leading truck body builder Centro Manufacturing Corporation.
“The Philippines is a net importer of meat,” he said. “We import more meat than we produce locally to satisfy the needs of the Filipino population. Adding to the challenge is the Asian Swine Flu (ASF) which is the second epidemic our country is tackling right now, making meat importation all the more important”.
He explained that this means that when the meat gets here, it is already frozen, and it should remain frozen until it is defrosted and cooked. “Studies also show that only roughly 40% of the vegetables that are harvested in the different provinces make it fresh to its consumers in Metro Manila. Some 60% are spoiled and simply do not make it to the last mile to our dining tables”.
“It is in view of this that Centro wants to help ensure that the cold chain is not broken by introducing a transport solution to support the local cold chain logistics industry,” Belisario added.
Centro recently partnered with leading truck body builder Nippon Fruehauf of Japan to establish Centro Nippon Fruehauf Cooltech Inc. (CFCI) to locally manufacture insulated sandwich panels and assemble refrigerated van bodies in its new plant in Cavite. CFCI uses lightweight and recyclable aluminum coated sheets for its panels and for its insulation, it uses extruded polystyrene foam which is less affected by water and less heat conductive. With these new technologies introduced in the local market, CFCI wants to provide more transport solutions to the country’s cold chain logistics puzzle.
Cold chain is also a critical component in the distribution of Covid 19 vaccines and CFCI says it also has solutions for these. Belisario reveals that most vaccines need either -20 degrees centigrade frozen storage condition or +2 to +8 degrees Centigrade chilled storage condition. “These constant temperatures needed for transport and storage of Covid vaccines are easily achievable with CFCI ref vans in any ref van size body, truck brand or model and ref system brand preferred by the customer”.
“CFCI can thus customize its ref van bodies since the insulated sandwich panels are locally manufactured,” he added. “This is an advantage since traditionally, ref van bodies are imported from abroad thus there is a longer waiting time and a lack of flexibility. We have engineered our ref van bodies to be compatible with almost all truck brands and models and ref system brands available locally. And with our Body Ready Program, you get your ref van in as early as seven days. That allows you to generate revenues earlier so your payback time is shorter”.
Belisario concluded that strengthening its cold chain capability is now a growing concern in the logistics industry and both Centro and CFCI have invested in providing the transport solutions to this need.