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Food cold chain management: From a structured literature review to a conceptual framework and research agenda

Shashi (School of Management Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, India)
Roberto Cerchione (Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, Naples, Italy)
Rajwinder Singh (School of Management Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, India)
Piera Centobelli (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)
Amir Shabani (Department of Information, Logistics and Innovation, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 20 June 2018

Issue publication date: 17 August 2018




Since last few years, cold chain management (CCM) has gained growing interest among practitioners, policymakers, researchers and academicians. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review focused on food cold chain management (FCCM) over the last 16 years to identify state of the art in the literature, highlight research gaps and define appropriate research questions (RQs) for future research.


The paper analyzes the content of 89 research articles published on the topic of food cold chain (FCC) from 2001 to 2016 within different journals. The Scopus and Web of Science databases were taken into consideration to shortlist research articles. Henceforth, the authors scrutinized the FCC industry to offer some effective strategies to tackle the chain complexities. The authors also draw interwoven between FCC infrastructure, integration, stakeholders’ interest, value addition, partners’ performance and overall food cold chain performance (FCCP) into a conceptual framework.


This paper identifies four research gaps in the literature of FCC concerning the most popular approaches used for the FCCP measurement, the performance measurement metrics, the factors which negatively affect the FCCP and the main sustainability issues in FCC.


This study identifies RQs which represent possible areas of investigation to improve the body of the FCCP evaluation and management. Furthermore, the FCC practitioners, food authorities and researchers might find this review useful, as it draws a clear picture of research in the respective domain.



The authors are indebted with the anonymous referees for the useful comments that greatly improved the final manuscript. This study is partially supported by UGC, New Delhi, India, under the fellowship grant number: NFST-2015-17-ST-HIM-124. This paper forms part of a special section “Next-generation cold supply chain management: research, applications and challenges”.


Shashi, S., Cerchione, R., Singh, R., Centobelli, P. and Shabani, A. (2018), "Food cold chain management: From a structured literature review to a conceptual framework and research agenda", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 792-821.



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