Handling & Storage

Food waste at handling and storage

It is currently estimated that 350 million tons of food are wasted at the handling and storage level globally each year. This means that 23% of all food wasted along the supply chain is lost at this stage alone. This represents an economic opportunity of $120 billion (BCG, 2018). Since food waste occurs for many different reasons across the supply chain, we decided to list the main causes at handling and storage based on the literature, reports and other sources out there.


The main causes of food waste at this stage:

  • Rough handling during loading and unloading
  • Lack of optimal storage and cooling facilities (capacity, infrastructure and equipment)
  • Improper choice of storage facilities and inventory management
  • Improper handling of temperature sensitive items
  • Unreasonable 'Minimum Life on Receipt'


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