Pakistan’s cold chain hampered by unreliable power supply

Karachi, Pakistan: Pakistan’s cold chain industry is rapidly building the capacity to serve firms in agriculture and industry but is hampered by an unreliable electricity supply, say senior managers in the industry.

“Electricity shortage is the single biggest hurdle in the growth of the cold chains in Pakistan,” said Shamsuddin Sheikh, vice president for supply chain at Engro Foods, one of the largest foods companies in the country.

He was speaking at the first cold chain conference in the country, organised by the Supply Chain Association of Pakistan.

“We have a cold chain capable of catering to the needs of Pakistan’s food industry, but the energy crisis is the main hurdle in managing the cold chain logistics that also causes huge production losses.”

Pakistan loses an estimated 40% of its production of fruits, vegetables and dairy products due to the lack of an adequate cold supply chain, according to figures released by the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade.

“Pakistan gets, on average, only 41% of the international price on its food exports owing to weak cold chains in the country,” said Moin Ahmed Malik, the Pakistan head of Swiss logistics firm, Agility.