Ultra-urban delivery EVERYTHING about the distribution of fresh and frozen food products

                Cyclo-logistics is undeniably on the rise. Public policies are no stranger to this. The creation of LEZs, the Mobility Orientation Law (Loi d'Orientation des Mobilités) and the Urban Transport Plan ("Plan de Déplacements Urbains") are measures that encourage an ecological transition in the goods transport sector. New operators are emerging, creating a fragmented landscape that lacks structure. Cyclo-logistics is becoming the Eldorado of ultra-urban delivery, meeting the various constraints of the city: congestion, pollution and nuisance. The distribution of heat-sensitive foodstuffs is no exception to this transport medium. Nevertheless, this type of merchandise requires special treatment. Many challenges arise; knowledge of the regulations in force, health safety and logistical problems, the soft mobility of perishable foodstuffs remains a sector that is regulated but not well controlled.

                Friends of foodtech, what do you need to know to start distributing small dishes or raw food by bike?

                     1. Regulations

                In France, the transport of food products is structured by a private body mandated by the State, the Cémafroid.  The latter has drawn up a regulation called the ATP, Agreement on the Transport of Perishable Foodstuffs, which determines the legal framework authorising the transport of heat-sensitive food products. In order to make it clearer, please find below a summary of the distribution temperatures for perishable foodstuffs. Please note that any inspection of your products at a temperature that is not in accordance with the regulations may result in criminal proceedings.

                Product category Conservation temperature
                Cooked fish, shellfish and molluscs, cooked meat, products being defrosted, opened fresh products, home cooked meals, etc.
                Between 0° C and + 4° C
                Raw meat, uncooked fish, charcuterie, pastries with cream, fresh products made from raw milk, cut-up cheeses, etc
                Maximum +4° C
                Fruits and vegetables +4°C
                Fresh dairy products, eggs, dairy desserts, butters and fats
                Between +6° C and +8° C
                Frozen goods -12° C
                Frozen goods; ice cream and sorbets -18° C


                                                                  Transloading happens when your refrigerated container is opened during the tour for loading or unloading goods.  Why is it taken into consideration? Because any opening necessarily involves a rise in temperature inside the cold cell. It is therefore necessary to ensure the isothermal performance of your equipment and also the energy output of your cold source. The combination of these two factors will allow you to considerably reduce the impact of this interruption of the cold chain on the product transported.

                                                                  It should be noted that if the temperature is too slow, the products may heat up and thus encourage the proliferation of germs and bacteria such as Salmonella or Listeria. Your responsibility as a distributor is therefore engaged with regard to the potential health risks.
                                                                          → How do I check the performance of my equipment?
                                                                                  ○ Cémafroid has drawn up a performance scale, called the heat transfer coefficient, according to the type of products transported: For the transport of frozen                          products, the K coefficient of your equipment must not exceed 0.4W/m2.K. For the transport of fresh products, this coefficient must not reach 0.7W/m2K.

                                                                      2. Logistics

                                                                  A multitasking-oriented equipment  

                                                                  To equip yourself is to project yourself. It means imagining where the business could develop and making equipment choices that will allow you to adapt to different needs. The principle is simple: equip yourself with a tool that will allow you to adapt its use according to the context and customer demand. In the context of the transport of perishable products, the questions to be asked are :

                                                                          → What temperature should my products be transported at?    
                                                                                  ○  I transport fresh products between +2°C and +4°C: what if the frozen food market grows tomorrow?
                                                                          →  Does my equipment allow me to carry multiple temperature ranges?
                                                                                  ○ My tour today is to combine dry, fresh and frozen distribution;

                                                                  This modular approach was adopted by Olivo Cold Logistics in the design and manufacture of the ROLL O'CITY which was designed to transport fresh and frozen products simultaneously and thus share deliveries. Optimisation is the key to a profitable cyclo-logistics model.

                                                                  A ready-to-use equipment

                                                                  Equipping yourself means thinking about simplifying your process. It is therefore relevant to ask yourself about the points of dependence of the system you wish to deploy. In the context of food transport, the type of cold source is crucial. There are two types: active or passive cold. Think autonomy, durability, reliability and profitability:
                                                                          → Is my autonomy sufficient to allow me to leave for a full day?   
                                                                                  The technology I use as a cold source must allow me to keep my products cool for 8 hours in a row: if my capacities are limited, do I have a                                backup solution?

                                                                  A standardised equipment

                                                                  Logistics is governed by the use of standardised dimensions based on the Euro Pallet 800x1200 format. The dimensions of half pallet and quarter pallets are also frequently used. The distribution of perishable food requires consideration of the packaging of the products transported. Of course, the distribution of single meals in kraft bags does not require this reasoning, but if you wish to extend your activity to the distribution of groceries or to the restocking of certain supermarkets, it will be necessary to be equipped with a standardised fleet.

                                                                  It is on this principle that Fleximodal has developed the BicyLift, an innovative trailer capable of lifting and carrying loads whose dimensions correspond to those of a Euro Pallet (800x1200mm). Isothermal containers, platforms and other bulky parcels can be transported with ease.

                                                                  Finally, distributing products that need to be transported at a controlled temperature requires great vigilance, both in the choice of materials and in the knowledge of regulations. At a time when several players in the food distribution sector are concerned about health safety issues, it seems essential to surround oneself with experts in logistics and cold solutions.