According to FAO UN, more than a third of total global food production is wasted or gets lost before it reaches the market due to inefficient logistics and unsustainable supply chains. According to the World Bank, investments in cutting food loss and waste can significantly contribute to food security and environmental sustainability. The wider availability and usage of temperature monitoring devices with real-time data applications can be a game-changer enabling predictive analytics and more sustainable organization of shipments via sea, road, and railway.

As the 4th Industrial Revolution unfolds, the world’s top food manufacturers, retailers, and logistic players search for innovative opportunities within the usage of real-time and automated temperature monitoring solutions that can significantly lower the number and value of goods perishing in transport. Consequently, the data-driven temperature monitoring solutions providing 24/7 alerts can save billions of USD annually by bettering the management of food supply chains.

The Temperature Monitoring Market 

As of 2020, the total cold chain market size is evaluated at $210.5 bn with a forecasted CAGR of c. 15% between 2021 and 2028. The cold chain market can be divided into three main subcategories: 

  • Storage (estimated at ~58% of the total value)
  • Transportation (~31%)
  • Monitoring components (~10%)

Although monitoring components account for only c. 10% of the total value, they prove to be a growing business with a predicted CAGR of over 17% by 2028. According to the estimates, the market for temperature monitoring components amounted to c. $19 bn in 2020 (packaging and equipment excluded).

Currently, Asia remains the most promising region for providers of temperature monitoring solutions with a predicted cold chain CAGR of c. 17% between 2020 and 2028. On the flip side, North America and Europe should be still considered leaders because they have well-established certified cold chain regulations that sustain constant demand for temperature monitoring solutions. Africa, especially due to its size and potential, is a promising destination for temperature monitoring solutions, closely followed by South America.

Main Drivers and Key Trends

The main drivers of the strong growth of temperature monitoring solutions are regulatory compliance and the desire to protect product integrity and sellability. The impact of regulatory compliance strongly depends on the respective geographical regions, with North America and Europe leading the necessarily regulatory precautions for the cold chain. The temperature monitoring is required for a variety of industries including pharma, as well as product categories such as meat and fish, dairy and eggs, processed foods, as well as fruits and vegetables. The requirements vary across selected areas of legislation. 

Simultaneously, there is a strong interest in predictive analytics that can provide all stakeholders (food manufacturers, retailers, and logistic players) with data that will enable sustainable organization and management of supply chains. Predictive analytics is possible with the latest technological solutions including a variety of connectivity methods enabling 24/7 alerts, longer-lasting batteries, IoT developments accompanied by cloud solutions, and the rise of the data-driven economy. 

Key Players

The leading providers of temperature monitoring devices and solutions are Emerson, Sensitech, and Elpro. All three are based in the US with strong leadership of Emerson being a Fortune 500 company. These market leaders offer a range of services that include transit monitoring, real-time solutions, 24/7 alerts, facility temperature management, and others. Elpro stands out as one of the key providers for life sciences, biotechnology, and the broadly understood pharma industry. 

For the research, we took into consideration not only the size and presence across regions, but also the technological accuracy, implementation of the latest innovative solutions, and analytics. US-based Digi and DeltaTrak, as well as the German Testo, were classified as emerging players. However, the list might be extended to other players such as Safecube from Switzerland.

Iceland-based Controlant, as well as US-based Berlinger and Tive are key innovators or companies worth observing in the upcoming years. Controlant gained recognition as a provider of turnkey service for the pharmaceutical industry and wireless temperature monitoring solutions becoming the Pfizer vaccination contractor. On the other hand, Tive focuses on delivering monitoring and tracking solutions for temperature, light shock, and humidity, and Berlinger looks forward to better services in data analysis as part of their temperature monitoring offer. 

The Road Ahead for Temperature Monitoring Devices

The temperature monitoring sector is increasingly implementing new technologies. The development of the following technologies and their implementation speeds up the transition to sustainable and effective usage of temperature monitoring devices.

  • Shift to multi-use devices, 
  • Refined wireless connections, 
  • Full external control increasing battery life
  • Digital transformation to IoT and cloud solutions
  • Decreasing costs of more advanced devices 

Innovative solutions offer better hope to logistic companies, food producers, and retailers for providing better quality service and increasing revenues from the sale of FMCG products. Predictive analytics might as well contribute to lowering corporate premiums. Insurtech among other sectors can also benefit from the latest advancements in temperature monitoring solutions. 

Due to climate change, Covid-19 lockdowns in certain parts of the world (i.e., China), and geopolitical tensions including the war in Ukraine, finding effective solutions to food waste might experience large interest from a variety of stakeholders: logistic companies, food manufacturers, retailers and Insurtech.