In pursuit of good taste – Part I: what’s the role of intralogistics for fish and meat?

Tasty cookies, delicious mulled wine, sumptuous celebratory meals: advent is a time of gastronomic enjoyment. And even if it is currently not possible to visit restaurants or Christmas markets in many European countries, most people remain in the mood for festive culinary treats. Which is reason enough for us to take a closer look at the intralogistics processes that underpin our favorite food and beverages. Join us on an exploratory journey – and discover in Part 1 how automation and specially equipped forklift trucks help put fish, fowl and more on our dining tables.

Both at home and in restaurants, the key to a successful meal is the quality and freshness of the ingredients – which, in turn, depends to a great degree on efficient (intra-)logistics processes. In particular, products such as fish and meat need to be handled with care – and speed. To illustrate how it’s done, we investigated a number of use cases.

Complex cold chains for steaks

How does a succulent steak arrive firm and fresh on your dining table? The Bigler Royal range is an example. Cattle are raised under the best possible conditions on the verdant slopes of the Swiss Alps. But the quality of the meat also depends on how it has been stored – which is why Bigler employs an automated multi-shuttle storage and picking system from supply chain experts Dematic. With a variety of temperature zones, it provides the ideal environment for reliable storage and rapid fulfillment, ensuring that the meat arrives at restaurants in peak condition. Dematic’s system is already in use worldwide, for example at one of the largest meat processing plants in Australia.

Fast processes for freshly caught fish

Fish has very different and challenging intralogistics requirements, as illustrated by the fishing activities around the Lofoten Islands off the Norwegian coast. The many remote fishing villages frequently make use of electric forklift trucks from STILL to take the cod, known as Lofoten Gold, straight from the boats and immediately into cold storage. Speed is of the essence. And that is a fact well understood by the crew of Germany’s largest trawler, the Maartje Theadora, that was the subject of a film report by news magazine die Welt*. The trawler drags its nets between Calais in France and Dover in England, harvesting up to 6,000 tonnes of fresh fish. The catch is then unloaded in its home port of Rostock by a fleet of forklifts from Linde Material Handling and rushed into a state-of-the-art cold warehouse. The result is fish that is fresh and tasty – at Christmas and at other times of the year.

Read the second part to learn more about how automated systems help efficiently deliver beverages at the right time and in the right quantity.

*In German only

This article was first published in a similar manner by the KION Group on September 29, 2020.