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In the realm of commercial real estate and logistics, the past decade has witnessed a remarkable surge in the development of cold storage projects. This trend is intricately linked to the evolving landscape of food transportation and storage, driven by the ever-increasing demand for fresh and diverse food options. As we delve into the reasons behind this growth, it becomes evident that cold storage facilities are no longer just a convenience but a critical component of our modern food supply chain.

In this blog, we explain the reasons cold storage options have become so popular, and considerations manufacturers should make as they embark on this specialized construction project.

Supply Chain Disruptions

The COVID-19 pandemic was a significant catalyst for change in the way food is transported and stored. Just-in-time inventory management, a practice that had been dominant for years, gave way to a more resilient inventory system. The global disruption caused by the pandemic revealed the need for building up inventories to ensure a consistent supply of food. This shift in approach required a substantial increase in cold storage capacity to meet the heightened demand for food preservation and safety.

Moreover, the modern food industry has become increasingly diversified. A multitude of food sources and the need for safe transportation have led to a surge in refrigerated warehouses. These facilities are instrumental in maintaining food quality and safety standards, acting as a safeguard against unexpected delays or breakdowns in the supply chain. Should a refrigerated truck experience a breakdown en route, cold storage facilities offer a crucial buffer, allowing perishable goods to be off-loaded promptly, thereby preventing spoilage and minimizing waste.

Improved Logistics Systems

Logistics, in this context, play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth flow of food products. Whether it’s refrigerated trucks or rail transport, a well-planned logistics system is essential for the seamless movement of perishable goods. Suppliers and providers within the industry must collaborate to maintain the flow of goods and prevent disruptions.

When contemplating investments in cold storage, the importance of logistics cannot be overstated. The cold storage supply chain is a complex web of processes that demands precision, efficiency, and reliability. Any breakdowns can result in substantial losses. Therefore, developers and businesses need to prioritize the maintenance of these systems to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Traceability and monitoring are also critical aspects of logistics in cold storage and transportation. Employing advanced tracking systems that provide real-time monitoring of products, allowing them to remain within specified temperature ranges, is crucial. In the event of any anomalies, immediate corrective action can be taken to prevent spoilage, thereby preserving product quality.

Advances in Renewable Energy

Building and maintaining cold storage facilities can be a costly endeavor. The utilities alone can be up to three times higher than those of conventional facilities, primarily due to the need for extensive insulation. The construction process involves creating a well-insulated space within a building, demanding meticulous planning and programming.

That is why selecting the right location has become crucial for cold storage facilities. Access to reliable and affordable electricity is paramount, given the energy-intensive nature of these facilities. In the current era of growing environmental consciousness, sustainability has made the growth of these facilities possible. Incorporating renewable energy solutions, such as solar power, into facility design and operation has been wildly beneficial. Solar panels on cold storage facilities not only reduce operational costs but also align with the global trend of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles.

Opportunities for Expansion

When planning for future expansion, developers and businesses have found efficient and flexible approaches to increasing revenue with cold storage facilities. Instead of adding onto an existing cold storage facility, a parallel structure on additional acreage may offer a more practical solution. This approach allows for future growth and the possibility of selling off the second structure if it’s not immediately needed, emphasizing flexibility and scalability.

These advances in cold storage have turned these types of facilities into multifaceted endeavors that demand careful consideration from location and energy costs to environmental sustainability. As we continue to witness the remarkable growth of cold storage projects in the construction industry, it is evident that these facilities are not merely a trend but a necessity in our evolving food supply chain.

Connect with Imperien to learn more about how businesses can expand their presence in the cold storage industry, effectively serving the growing demand for fresh and diverse food products in the modern era of food manufacturing and distribution.