Each year, 80 million people are added to the global population. In this growing populace, food consumption rates are soaring. As global agriculture grows, there is a worldwide demand to expand the cold storage industry. Perishable foods are the largest, most profitable and fastest growing sector of agricultural trade.
Additionally, the frozen and refrigerated food categories for both the retail and food service industries are on the rise. Given these dynamic increases, the cold chain is quickly becoming central to all kinds of global trade in just about all commodities. In turn, refrigerated warehouses are growing to keep up, and offering more specialized and individualized services to those in the food manufacturing industry.
Globalization has made the relative distance between areas of the world much smaller; however, the physical separation of these same regions is still a very important reality. The greater the physical separation, the more likely freight becomes damaged moving in the import and export processes. To ensure that shipments are not compromised during transport, many businesses are turning to, and relying on cold chain technology.
The cold storage industry is expanding and moving beyond a traditional freezer unit. The market consists of many quality warehouse facilities, but the ones that offer individualized, added value services as part of a complete package succeed far beyond competitors. In the current market, customers are demanding services such as inventory tracking, recall efforts, exporting and transportation services throughout the cold supply chain. They are looking for a single refrigerated warehouse company to perform all functions.
Factors such as high service levels, lower cost, faster inventory turns, quicker reporting and the ability to provide customers with faster and more efficient service have also prompted change. Instead of simply operating as overflow warehouses, refrigerated warehouses are offering much more to customers.
Refrigerated warehousing companies are consolidating services, making it more convenient and cost effective for their clients. The storage facility is no longer just storage. The facility receives fresh products, blast freezes them, obtain certificates of export and USDA stamps of approval. Certified third party logistics professionals pick and pack the containers, consolidate the load for distribution, and make all arrangements until the shipment leaves port.
Food companies are also being pressured to address the challenges that arise in food transportation. Fortunately, increasingly efficient global transport networks are making it possible to bring food from distant places to stores, restaurants and homes before it spoils. In turn, the manufacturers benefit from a further developed, more optimized, more streamlined cold supply chain. This link in the chain ensures that they are not burdened by the large investment of holding onto loads of inventory.
Since cold storage businesses carry such flexibility, their potential is unlimited. As cold storage services become more important with each passing day, the growing future of such facilities is difficult to deny. A cold storage warehouse that offers third party logistics is one of the most important links in the cold chain. It guarantees the most fresh and sanitary food and produce make it to shelves and onto kitchen tables.
Scott Chapman is the Executive Vice President of Richmond Cold Storage; a cold storage [http://www.richmondcold.com] company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, est. 1907