What is a cold storage warehouse? Actually, this question is nothing new. Long before refrigerators and freezers were created, people were preserving food at frigid temperatures.
Thankfully, a slightly higher working temperature can now be maintained for the daily cold store without affecting the quality. However, this continues to provide everyday difficulties in their supply chain and warehousing operations.
The fact that warehouses must satisfy a number of requirements (including temperature or certifications) in order to store any particular product is one factor contributing to the difficulty of cold storage.
The stakes in choosing a facility are very high because there are many potential problems such as power outages or mold buildup, thus making the wrong choice could lead to lost goods.
To avoid unexpected things, take a deep look at this post. It can assist you in choosing the appropriate cold warehouse, whether you’re looking to buy one or build one.
What is the cold storage warehouse definition?
Before moving to more detailed information about types of cold storage warehouse, let’s explain what is cold storage warehouse exactly!
In fact, a cold storage warehouse meaning contains many definitions, making it challenging to summarise them in a single line.
Simply said, a cold storage warehouse is a space or structure that must maintain particular environmental conditions in order to protect the products. These warehouses typically have exteriors that are identical to other warehouses, but their inside environments are unique.
Several cold storage warehouses have conditions so bad that moving inside requires specialized equipment. In contrast to other warehouses, cold storage warehouses come in a variety of configurations depending on the demand. It serves as a crucial link in the logistics of the food supply chain.
What Is Stored at a Cold Storage Warehouse?
As stated in the name, a cold storage warehouse is obviously distinctive from all other types. The monitoring and maintenance of heat and temperature exchange in a cold storage warehouse are more extensive than in other types of warehouses.
For its safe storage, goods that are susceptible to deterioration under typical room temperature circumstances require cold storage. Here are some kinds of items a cold storage warehouse stores
A cold storage facility is where the majority of the food that we purchase at the supermarket and place in our fridge is stored. Ice cream, vegetables, meat, milk products, and other foodstuffs need to be stored in cold warehouses. The final retail stores are placed quite a ways away from the production site.
Ensuring the quality of manufactured goods is so essential. These products are kept in a variety of cold storage facilities, depending on how close they are to the point of sale.
In some cases, the price of the product comprises the cost of the cold storage facility. Because of this, these goods are a little more expensive than others.
Plants and Flowers
Warehouses for cold storage contain sections for plants and flowers. An online retailer keeps a bouquet or a plant you order in a cold storage warehouse.
The plants are grown on farmland; however, they are kept in this kind of warehouse to prevent rotting until being delivered to far-off places.
Alongside the expansion of the art craze, the rate of artistic production has risen. Today, a lot of colors and fibers used in sculptures and statues are natural ones.
Therefore, a specific area in a cold storage warehouse needs to be set up for artwork to be kept at the right temperature; or else, these artworks risk being damaged.
Cold storage facilities are essential for preserving lives. Many pharmaceutical products, including medications and nutritional supplements, must always be stored at a specified temperature to be stable. As a result, several hospitals enter into term-based agreements with cold storage facilities to meet their needs.
How does the temperature in a cold storage warehouse fluctuate?
In a cold storage warehouse, the temperature changes based on the needs. The reason for this is that the ideal conditions for each product are unique. In order to preserve, ice cream must be kept at -23.3 degrees Celsius, but vegetables may just need a temp of 12 degrees.
In order to suit the needs of all sorts of products, cold storage areas have different sections maintained at various climatic conditions. To store the suitable ones when there is a great supply or demand, many warehouses are devoted to just one sort of environment.
Why is cold storage getting popular in 2022?
Between 2022 and 2030, the market for cold storage is anticipated to increase at a 9.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
But why is it getting more and more popular? Here are the top three factors:
Consumer tastes are evolving
The way that many customers eat is changing.
For example, more people are choosing to eat freshly prepared kitted meals rather than manufactured, canned, and packaged foods.
Additionally, these pre-made meals need to be carefully controlled in temperature to remain fresh, necessitating additional cold storage.
Population growth is high
Approximately 20 million additional people are expected to reside in the United States by 2026.
Furthermore, a larger population increases the need for food, medical care, and other things.
To meet increasing needs, cold storage facilities are becoming more necessary.
Spending is increasing rapidly
The growth of e-commerce has contributed to an overall rise in consumer expenditure.
More people are purchasing items that need cold storage online as a result of the growth of e-commerce.
This includes expenditure on goods that need to be kept chilled, such as food, medicine, and cosmetics.
Naturally, the need for cold storage increases as these commodities are sold more often.
Advantages of a cold storage warehouse
The advantages of cold storage warehouses go beyond simply protecting our products.
Prevent products from being damaged
It is a significant responsibility to keep our items free from any deterioration.
Since the majority of manufacturing hubs are not situated close to the final destination, manufacturing enterprises would suffer a great deal of loss if cold storage warehouses did not exist.
Bring about employment
Employees with the right skills must manage cold storage. All of these warehouses have specialized teams who manage inventory, inspect items, and maintain hygienic conditions. As a result, it’s a fantastic method to provide work chances for lots of individuals.
Imagine if each business had its own cold storage facility; such facilities would be expensive and take up a lot of room. The current kind of third-party cold storage warehouse is less expensive, saving producers time and money.
Ease logistics in the supply chain
There are several phases involved, including production, shipping, and so on.
This chain includes warehousing, which speeds up the entire procedure. By providing short-term storage for items, the cold storage warehouse serves as a tiny substation.
2 Types of cold storage warehouse
A cold storage warehouse is made up of two primary components: the building itself and the inside furnishings, including the racking.
There is a third choice that includes both of them: rack-supported structures, in which the racks form an essential component of the warehouse’s structure. To maintain a steady temperature in the center, everyone must contribute.
According to the temperature, cold storage warehousing typically falls into two categories:
Refrigerated cold storage
0 to 10 °C for the controlled temperature.
A cold storage facility seeks to keep the produce, which is typically food, at an ideal temperature, prevent it from rotting, and lengthen its shelf life.
Frozen cold storage
-30 to 010 °C for the controlled temperature.
To guarantee there is no chance of harm or alteration to the product’s integrity, a freezer warehouse must maintain the product at a steady temperature.
The kind of goods to be stored will determine whether cold storage is preferred over freezer warehousing, and vice versa.
The government’s pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions across all sectors by 2050 poses a special challenge for the cold storage warehouses currently under construction.
The construction of cold storage warehouse
The way a building is insulated as well as chilled is greatly influenced by the construction method chosen. Insulated metal panels, insulated concrete, or a combination of the two can be used to construct new cold storage facilities.
Moreover, by placing insulated metal panels on the inside of the existing walls of an existing dry warehouse, the space can be transformed into a freezer or cooler.
This solution, which enables a cold storage user to transform ambient space into a cooler, freezer, or cold dock, is suitable when the preferred placement is in a densely populated area with little available land.
The current and long-term success of a project depends on the installation of a refrigeration system as well as its accompanying infrastructure.
Our ability to determine the best alternative for sustaining temperature in our customers’ cooled and frozen areas is unmatched due to the decades of development and construction we have invested in cold storage facilities.
Any project requires the optimum building structure and refrigeration system to be installed. We consider every aspect, value engineering the design, and provide our customers with state-of-the-art cold storage facilities.
Temperature Control and R-Value
During the design phase, it is essential to consider how the temperatures in the immediate area will affect the products and equipment being used.
The Refrigeration Engineer and the business should work together to determine the necessary r-value for the cold storage warehouse. The business can choose refrigeration equipment after defining the R-value specifications.
The estimated operating cost, which is predicated on the cost of local power, is another crucial factor in the selection of equipment and the calculation of proposed R-values.
This might also cost the final client money after the company has finished developing the facility. It is likely to exceed offset the cost of mechanical system premiums and running costs by raising the R-value.
Challenges in building a cold storage warehouse
There are a few issues that need to be addressed when keeping products in cold storage in a warehouse, including:
- When energy costs for maintaining the cold are taken into account, cold storage is more expensive than ambient temperature storage?
- How will workers work in the freezing cold?
- How is it possible for the temperature to remain consistent not only during storage but also at the location where items are received or sent?
By carefully choosing equipment, such as conveyors and racking, which will maximize the use of space and ensure streamlined services, many of these difficulties can be overcome. Additionally, labor expenses are reduced via automation and semi-automation.
Mobile pallet racking is a common option for cold warehouse storage since it uses the least amount of floor space possible and only has one aisle for operations.
Compared to traditional pallet racking, this may free up 40% more floor space while also doubling the amount of storage that can be accommodated.
Drive-in racking is an additional option that enables huge amounts to be stored and, like the previous choice, increases space efficiency by up to 90%. For chilled and frozen storage products, it is perfect.
The development of AGV-driven vehicles in cold store settings is receiving more funding as a result of a strong focus on sustainability, which will boost the efficiency of the warehouses.
In fact, getting to know what is a cold storage warehouse is not enough. Further than the warehouse itself and the required equipment, there are still a lot of additional factors to take into account.
But don’t worry!
We can offer advice on each of these variables as well as the ideal cold storage warehouse storage options, including automation and semi-automation.
Please get in contact if you’d like to discuss cold storage warehousing with us.