Jia-Wei Han, Min Zuo, Wen-Ying Zhu, Jin-Hua Zuo, En-LiLü, Xin-Ting Yang
Cold chain logistics (CCL) is not only vital for maintaining the quality and safety of fresh agro-products and reducing losses but also provides important support to help increase farmer income and thereby promote the revitalization of rural industry in China. In recent years, numerous studies have focused on improving the efficiency and sustainability of CCL, and the results have important implications for promoting innovation, applying technologies, improving facilities and equipment, and optimizing management in the CCL industry.
This review discusses active research areas, gaps in the existing state of research, and future research challenges for CCL. Furthermore, we summarize the current status of China's CCL industry and technology and compare the state of CCL development in China with that in more developed countries in terms of infrastructure, data handling, and national policies.
The future trends of CCL involve low carbon strategies and intelligent innovation, which are the key to meeting environmental concerns and the evolving needs of the market. Advances in next-generation information technology (including IoT, blockchain, AI, etc.) have significantly accelerated the modernization of CCL. Meanwhile, attaining these dual objectives of a low-carbon footprint and intelligent innovation requires cooperation between national regulators, industry, consumers, and interdisciplinary experts. A key finding of this review is that national policy and financial intervention in China are expected to be the main forces behind renovating infrastructure and upgrading standardization, which is required to narrow the CCL development gap between China and other more developed nations.