Cold chain logistics is the lifeline of food supplies for every country, facilitating multiple logistical cycles of everyday food products, including but not limited to chilled and frozen products like fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy, condiments, etc. Correlating with the lives of millions in Qatar, cold chain solutions are necessary for safely importing and transporting various food items around the year. The greatest challenge, though, is controlling food waste at all stages of the supply chain and ensuring food security, which speaks volumes about the cold chain’s merits.
A unified company-wide approach to ensure food safety and quality is paramount to GWC’s priorities. We follow best practices in food safety systems to offer the highest level of quality services to our clients, contributing to Qatar’s extensive efforts ensuring sustainable flow of foodstuffs. Over the years, we have supported the global initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) in pursuing food safety in favour of public health by upholding quality, health, safety, security, and environment as our biggest priorities when dealing with food storage and supplies. GWC actively participated in the 2020 edition of World Food Safety Day, which was observed under the theme “Food safety, everyone’s business” and we are committed to driving cold chain solutions to a pedestal capable of taking action to help detect, prevent and manage foodborne risks.
GWC works round-the-clock to ensure the continued and timely supply of Qatar’s F&B needs during Ramadan, cultural festivities, and other events, with a focus on minimal food waste. From April 2020 to March 2021, GWC has successfully handled total food transaction volumes of 509,042 CBM, including inbound and outbound consignments, through our distribution centres. Our robust project management process warrants such seamless solutions for the food industry, on the back of our state-of-the-art infrastructure, innovative approach, and proven 3PL expertise.
State-of-the-art Infrastructure: Supporting Food Logistics
We are the first logistics provider in Qatar to get certified for the ISO 22000 for Food Safety Management System. At all our distribution centres and logistics hubs, we ensure full compliance to all inspection criteria relating to container sealing, packaging, cleanliness and hygiene, shelf-life tracking, inventory management, etc. Cold chamber warehouses enable us to store all types of products ranging from -25°C to +25°C. This storage infrastructure allows food to be stored as frozen, chilled, ambient, and dry, keeping it fresh and clean for transportation to end-use destinations. With real-time temperature and humidity monitoring systems, we record and monitor storage temperatures at all times to retain optimum food quality.
Technology at Work: Increasing Operational Efficiencies
Innovation and new-age technology are at the heart of our world-class cold chain infrastructure. Using advanced systems for forwarding, trucking, warehousing, and distribution has enabled GWC to streamline its cold chain operations in line with global industry standards while raising the bar for regional standards given the harsh environments where we operate. Staying ahead of the curve, we identified automation as a critical cog in delivering reliable cold chain solutions and minimizing food waste by streamlining storage and dispatch. GWC’s customized warehouse management system facilitates safe food handling at all stages of the cold chain, thus ensuring control, precision, and accountability. Automated reports through this system communicate product expiry dates to our customers and help realize slow- and fast-moving stocks, a critical input in future demand planning and real time replenishments. GWC also employs 24/7 security management with access controls to the warehouses, CCTV surveillance, amongst other measures, to help us identify any lapses in food handling and address them in real-time.
Testing and Assurance Process: Prioritizing Food Safety and Quality
Our evolved supply chain, driven by benchmark processes, ensures that all consignments receive an inspection by qualified and HACCP certified food handlers and security professionals to test food on several parameters relating to quality, quantity, safety, and security. All food imports to Qatar are required to undergo sampling and inspection by the Port Health and Food Control section; GWC Transport is involved in transporting these food samples from port to the Central Food Laboratory for inspection. In rare cases where the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) requires further testing, GWC provides an add-on service on customer request, placing the shipment on ‘Inspection Hold’ at the time of receipt so that items are not released for delivery. These are released only post retesting by MoPH and customer confirmation about product approval. Concerned importers are informed if their consignments fail to meet inspection criteria, while their products are differentiated from saleable goods and moved to isolated locations on account of non-conformance to food safety and quality standards.
The People Factor: Driving the Cold Chain Lifecycle
At the helm of our cold chain operations, we have highly experienced professionals driving various processes critical for the fulfilment of our service and quality promise. Specialized on-ground teams are involved at each of the specific stages of the supply chain cycle – from freight forwarding, inspection, customs clearance, transportation, warehousing, and distribution (to end-use destination). Equipped with subject matter expertise in the field and state-of the-art-technology; GWC’s trained and qualified food handlers are keen to arrest food waste at various points of transit.
Operating since 2004, GWC has closely worked towards understanding the requirements of Qatar to introduce timely logistics solutions that can bridge identified gaps. Our integrated cold chain solutions are a result of a concentrated thought process that involved addressing challenges faced by importers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers associated with the food industry in Qatar.
Speak to our experts to explore how our cold chain expertise can help you safely move food consignments. Visit https://gwclogistics.com/reach-us