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Early morning delivery companies use 'cold chain' to keep food fresh Updated: 2020-01-10 13:33:53 KST

"This is a warehouse for e-commerce in Seoul's Songpa-gu Disctrict.
It is almost midnight, so everywhere else is closed, but here, they can't be busier."

The operation is in full swing for the company's signature "early morning delivery service" which delivers fresh food ordered before 11 PM by 7 AM the next day.

All kinds of fresh foods brought here earlier in the day from around the country are stored at below 5 degrees Celsius.

They are redistributed to individual containers based on customers' orders.

Then, the foods are packed up with an ice pack and a special paper box designed to keep them cold.

Finally, the boxes are loaded onto delivery cars that have their own separate cooling system, with a thermometer constantly checking the temperature.

As you might have noticed, all these steps revolve around one thing: keeping the food cool.

This so-called cold chain system is critical in food delivery because it directly affects the freshness of the products.
And the company says it is especially important in the last mile, the final step from the transportation hub to the customers' door.

"Food can go bad during the actual delivery, so keeping it cool during that stage is very important. Unlike other e-commerce firms that outsource their deliveries, we run our own logistics operation. And we use our own special cooling delivery cars to keep the food fresh until it reaches its final destination."

That emphasis on freshness actually helped lead to the fast delivery system.

"Early morning delivery was not the initial plan. We were just thinking about how to get the food to the customer in the freshest state we can, and that was transporting the food as soon as possible."

Many others have now joined the early morning delivery industry using a similar logistics model.

And experts say that such a revolutionary delivery service was possible in South Korea because the population is concentrated in cities which allows companies to focus their service on Seoul and the surrounding areas.

Now the industry is worth over 3.four billion dollars, and it is projected to grow even bigger and more competitive this year.

Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.
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