AWS for Industries
Carrier and AWS collaborate to reduce food spoilage across the cold chain
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is helping power digital transformation to improve food sustainability for suppliers, manufacturers, logistics, consumers, and everyone in between.
Announced on Oct. 8, AWS and Carrier are collaborating to innovate and develop Lynx, a digital platform that unifies the highly fragmented cold chain to reduce food spoilage, support end-to-end visibility, and increase efficiency throughout the various stages of refrigerated storage and transportation.
Globally, about one third of the food we produce each year is lost or wasted, costing the global economy nearly $1 trillion USD annually (World Food Programme).
Multi-company supply chains are complex webs of loosely connected providers and technologies that share little information or systems with each other. When it comes to cold chains, which transport and store perishable items like food with refrigeration technology, gaps in the cold chain can lead to spoilage and damage.
For example, if fresh food is left on the loading dock and the refrigerated truck is late to pick it up, food could spoil. If the door on a refrigerated container is left ajar, food could spoil. If a truck misses its scheduled maintenance and breaks down mid-route, food could spoil. In any of these scenarios, companies can pay a steep price for inefficient cold chains.
In addition to the financial toll, food spoilage has numerous negative impacts on the environment and on people’s access to food.
Uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills and is the single largest component of US municipal solid waste, where it also accounts for a large portion of US methane emissions. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one third of all food produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted each year. This food waste creates greenhouse gas emissions at a staggering rate. In fact, if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (FAO).
According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report, nearly 690 million people are hungry, or 8.9% of the world population—up by 10 million people in one year and by nearly 60 million in five years. This demonstrates an opportunity to strengthen food system resiliency through improved food supply chains.
Some regions experience greater food insecurity due to supply chain limitations. According to the Rockefeller Foundation, “in developing countries, 90% of wastage is from food loss within the value chain. It directly impacts poor producers through foregone income and impacts poor consumers through reduced food availability, increased prices.” Some of the root causes that have been identified include “insufficient postharvest storage facilities or on-farm storage technologies” as well as “poor market access that leads to spoilage before the product is sold.”
Carrier’s food spoilage solution: Develop an efficient and intelligent cold chain.
Carrier, a leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions, is uniquely positioned to take on this challenge. Carrier’s broad portfolio includes transport and commercial refrigeration equipment in addition to cargo monitoring, providing opportunities for unique insights and tailored digital services.
With proper refrigeration, 475 million tons of lost food could be saved each year (International Institute of Refrigeration).
The Lynx digital platform, being co-developed by Carrier and AWS, is designed to provide customers greater flexibility, visibility, and intelligence across the cold chain.
AWS and Carrier plan to introduce capabilities that give the right information at the right time, through proactive recommendations to reduce spoilage and increase sustainability and efficiency.
Some examples of what an intelligent, connected cold chain can do:
- Better match supply from food producers with refrigerated trucks for transport to consumers.
- Provide more efficient routes, enabling transportation companies to take high-quality food farther, potentially to regions that lack access.
- Improve fleet utilization, provide proactive alarms, and deliver recommendations to improve operations and reduce spoilage by improving the reliability and predictability of food transport and related handoffs across the cold chain.
The Lynx digital platform uses a foundation of AWS IoT, machine learning, and analytics to provide customers with greater connectivity, visibility, and cold chain intelligence.
With a comprehensive view of cargo location, temperature conditions, and external events that could impact cold chain operations, Carrier can apply machine learning to identify potential issues that could impact food cargo and develop recommendations to improve outcomes.
“Carrier is committed to powering a healthy, safe, and sustainable cold chain. Through this collaboration with AWS, we are building on our experience to develop a powerful tool that gives Carrier customers greater flexibility, visibility, and intelligence across the cold chain,” said David Appel, President, Carrier Refrigeration.
Carrier and AWS are tackling the complexity and fragmentation of the cold chain to give supply chain customers transparency, flexibility, and insights. With these, customers will be able to reduce risk and deliver food, medicine, and vaccines when and where they’re needed.
October 16 is UN World Food Day. Learn more here.
Read the press release.