September 12th, 2018
New technologies are appearing at an ever-increasing rate. And that is great news for the transportation industry. The ability to transfer perishable foods across the globe without compromising the integrity of the food is leading to an unprecedented growth of cold chain logistics.
However, the advances in technology in the field of containers with temperature control don’t limit themselves to food transport. Perishable medicine and biopharmaceutical products are also benefiting from the development of new refrigerated containers.
But focusing solely on transportation means can make people forget about the other important aspects. Namely, it is equally important to maintain cold chains with cold storage and refrigerated warehousing.
What Is Cold Storage
Any type of storage that involves controlling the temperature of a substance. It works to protect the substance from decaying or otherwise failing to maintain its integrity or adherence to regulations that apply to it.
Where Can Cold Storage Facilities Appear?
Cold storage facilities are extremely important for a lot of different industries. Due to that fact, many companies use cold storage facilities to store their products. There are three common variations of cold storage usages:
Manufacturer’s facilities — A product manufacturer might use cold storage to store products before sending them out to end users.
End users — It is very common for end users to purchase products that require temperature control in advance. In those cases, they keep the products in cold storage facilities until they decide to use the said products.
Third parties — A lot of companies outsource their cold storage needs. Third-party logistics providers usually have their own storage facilities. The products can remain in their cold storage units until the request to ship them to end users comes in.
The Complexity of Cold Storage
Cold storage requires a lot of accurate refrigeration. The regulation around refrigerated goods makes the entire process very complex.
The demand for the refrigerated foods is on the rise. And as that demand grows, so does the demand for repackaging, consolidation, and other value-added services.
Furthermore, clients of third-party logistics providers are expanding their list of demands. The reason for that lies in the fact that end users and retailers are learning to expect more from transportation companies. Some of the most common demands are proper traceability and high-quality pallet building.
While the increase in those expectations is improving the services, it is also hurting the profit margins of third-party providers. Namely, cold storage is showing signs of diminishing returns on investments for cold storage facilities. That is leading to them finding new ways to optimise their storage processes and warehouses
The Need for Customisation of Cold Storage Facilities
Not so long ago, most storage facilities worked with a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
With the wide variety of customers and their demands, providers are starting to create custom facilities for cold storage needs of their clients. That way, they can create efficient facilities that provide a better return on investment. However, that approach has its flaws. Namely, the clients have to remain with the providers a lot longer for the endeavour to be worth the costs. And locking down a client for a long period of time can be very difficult.
Different Goods Have Different Requirements
While dealing with the increasing demand from the clients can be difficult, meeting the requirements for different types of refrigerated foods can put even more strain on providers.
Different products need different temperatures for safe storage. Furthermore, they have varying shelf lives, and some products can spend a very short amount of time between transportation and the cold storage without spoiling.
Products such as flowers and plants, perishable foods and pharmaceutical products can be quite demanding in regard to their needs for temperature control.
And the natural requirements of certain goods are just the beginning. Safety regulations for each product demand different temperature levels.
Different Types of Cold Storage
Cold storage comes in various shapes and sizes. These are the most common ones:
One of the most versatile options for cold storage comes in the form of refrigerated containers. They are cost effective, portable and very energy efficient.
Blast Freezers and Chillers
Very common for larger food related businesses that need to quickly cool the food down to safe levels for storage or transportation.
On-site Cold Rooms
Cold rooms are larger more permanent variants of refrigerated containers, that are built inside the business’s premises.
Dedicated Custom Cold Storage Facilities
On-site storages can be very expensive to set up and operate. For that reason, a lot of companies look for dedicated custom cold storage facilities provided by third-party logistics providers.
Running cold storage facilities and refrigerated warehouses can be incredibly expensive due to their known inefficiency if not correctly insulated. This is why many businesses are now opting to use Reefer Containers for all of their Cold Storage needs.