A cold storage warehouse is like a giant refrigerator where businesses keep things that need to stay cool, like food and medicine. It’s a crucial part of how goods get from producers to our homes, helping things stay fresh and safe until they reach our hands.
This big chilly place plays a silent but super important role in our everyday shopping, eating, and health.
If you are running a business that deals in temperature-sensitive products, it would be ideal for you to understand the ins and outs of cold storage warehousing services.
In this post, we will explore the intricacies of cold storage warehousing, its operational mechanics, and its indispensable elements to help you manage perishable goods in a seamless way.
Cold Storage Warehouse: What Is It?
Cold storage warehouses are temperature-controlled facilities that are designed to maintain appropriate environmental conditions to keep sensitive and perishable goods.
These warehousing services maintain the quality, shelf-life, and integrity of specific temperature-sensitive products that require a specific temperature range for preservation.
Considering the challenges and intricacies of such warehouses, especially regarding capacity, power supply, energy consumption, operational effectiveness, and temperature control, certain technological advancements and automation help reduce costs and enhance overall efficiency.
These warehouses are a vital aspect of the supply chain that uses AI-induced systems and careful management regimes to offer storage spaces.
The Need for Cold Storage
The demand for cold storage across the world is rising every year, and the industry is expected to grow to $303.22 billion in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.0%.
Here are a few ways in which cold storage requirements are amplifying and reshaping the industrial landscape:
- For businesses dealing in goods that are subject to losing their quality or utility because of temperature fluctuations, cold storage warehousing services come as a blessing in disguise.
- These storage systems help prevent biological decay, mitigate the process of chemical and physical changes, and maintain the integrity of products.
- If considering exports and movement of such perishable items from one place to another, it is imperative to use cold storage to maintain the highest quality of such temperature-influenced products.
What Kind of Products Need Cold Storage Warehousing Services?
Popular industries that use cold storage solutions are restaurants and food outlets, supermarkets, frozen food producers, agricultural producers, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare institutions.
Cold storage warehousing services become essential for storing products like:
- perishable nutrient products, meat and seafood, dairy, processed foods, and frozen foods
- Flowers and plants, chemicals, and cosmetics
- Bio-pharmaceuticals like medicines and vaccines
- Books and artwork or specialized components like aircraft parts.
- Craft goods like candles or organic textiles.
Reasons for the Growing Popularity of Cold Storage Solutions
Cold storage warehouses are growing in number and are becoming more sophisticated because of the following reasons:
Boost in Ecommerce and Food & Beverage Sector
A constant surge in the ecommerce sector and rampant growth in the food and beverage sector are some of the key reasons for the growing demand for cold storage warehouses. Ecommerce retail sales are expected to reach $6.17 trillion by the end of 2023. Thus, there is a high demand for refrigerated containers, followed by chillers and blast freezers.
Changing Consumer Preferences
Consumer demands are constantly changing, as they now depend more on packaged, pre-prepared, processed, and canned food that needs careful temperature control for preservation.
The total world population has exceeded 8 billion in 2023, and it continues to grow. This simply means more people to feed, more medicines to cure, and more demand for goods. This has also led to a general increase in consumer spending.
Working and Key Components of Cold Storage Warehouses
Cold storage warehouses use both insulation and HVAC cooling systems to control and manage the transfer of heat between the inside and the outside. They use a combination of fans, coolants, radiators, and pipes to replace heat with cooler air. Let us look at the key components of Cold Storage Warehouses:
- Coolant – The ‘Blood’ of these warehouses – Coolant is made of liquid that circulates throughout using a string of fans, tubes, and pipes
- Compressor – The ‘Heart’ of these warehouses that increases the coolant pressure and temperature and accumulates the heat into the condenser using compression.
- Condenser – It eliminates the refrigerant heat and discards it into the atmosphere using Coils. Thus, the refrigerant state converts from gas to liquid, which flows within the receiver.
- Receiver – It stores the high-pressure liquid coolant that comes from the condenser. It further maintains pressure and handles increased loads, releasing the refrigerant into an expansion valve. This valve controls the pressure and temperature that flow to the separator.
- The separator – It receives and accumulates refrigerant from the receiver, pumps it to another expansion valve, and adjusts the flow rate and load placed before it enters the evaporator.
- The evaporator – It brings cold air into the space and drops the temperature, after which the refrigerant restarts the entire process again.
Types of Cold Storage Warehouses
Below are the fundamental types of cold storage warehouses:
- Refrigerated containers with a controlled temperature of 0 to 10 °C (30° and 70° F): These frozen containers come with a controlled temperature of -30 to 0°C, and blast freezers and chillers with a controlled temperature below -30°C. Additionally, there are ultra-low temperature (ULT) cold storage warehouses that store sensitive biological and research specimens at temperatures ranging from -4° to -122.8° F.
- Private Cold Storage: Here, the owner also produces the goods stored in that space. This is connected to the main manufacturing facility. Public Cold Storage warehouses are generally owned and operated by 3rd-party logistics companies that receive, store, and ship products on behalf of other businesses.
- Customized Cold Storage: Here, the warehouse facilities meet the personalized and specific cold storage needs of businesses and provide customized cold rooms accordingly.
Cold storage warehouses come with multiple variations, customizable specifications, and robust backup systems during a power outage, and they provide extra storage, safety, and security for temperature-controlled goods. These systems reduce waste and eventually save money.
If you are on the lookout for a logistic enabler to safeguard and streamline the journey of your perishable goods from production to consumption, Shipyaari can help. We offer highly integrated and technology-driven logistic solutions that help you navigate the complexities of the goods supply chain with ease.
Reach out for more details!