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Why are Cold Storage Facilities So Important?

Cold storage construction is a massive industry. In 2016, third-party logistics (3PLs) generated nearly $300 billion worldwide, and that figure is only set to grow. Industry predictions have revenue set to increase by nearly 50% over the next few years. The United States represents the world’s second-biggest user of cold storage facilities, with California taking the lead in U.S. cold storage capacity. No wonder cold storage builders in California are so busy! With cold storage construction in California on such a dramatic rise, it’s time to look at what makes cold cold storage facilities so important.

Cold Storage Is a Must for Produce

Fresh produce is a $50 billion industry in California alone. In fact, California producers account for one-third of vegetables grown in the United States and a whopping two-thirds of fruit and nuts. That much food won’t keep fresh for long, which is why we need cold storage warehouses and transport.

Cold storage serves a number of essential purposes when it comes to storing and handling fresh produce:

Keeping Food Fresh

The most obvious benefit of cold storage is enabling fresh produce to remain fresh for longer. Keeping produce properly frozen throughout the supply chain process enables it to reach consumers in the same fresh state, without spoiling or going stale.

Safety First

Without proper cold storage, produce isn’t just less fresh, it’s also unsafe. Storing food and other products improperly — at the wrong temperature, or at an inconsistent temperature — can allow the growth of bacteria and harmful microorganisms, leading to faster deterioration. Spoiled food and medicine, in turn, can cause food poisoning and loss of potency, as well as being downright unappealing to consumers.

Longer Storage Times

Effective cold storage doesn’t just keep produce safer and fresher, it allows it to be stored for longer periods. Proper deep freezing can keep produce fresh almost indefinitely, while even high-temperature refrigeration is enough to keep food fresh for several days longer than usual.

Refrigeration at Every Step of the Chain

Cold storage facilities are used at every point in the produce supply chain, from private cold storage warehouses for producers and manufacturers to large-scale temporary storage for 3PL shipments and smaller but equally important cold rooms and freezers for end users. Every step of the logistics chain needs cold storage — and if one link in the chain fails, the entire product can become unusable.

Businesses Need Custom Cold Storage Solutions

There’s a vast array of facilities that need cold storage solutions. These can include production centers, commercial warehouses, distribution venues, refrigerated transportation, and end users like supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels. Each of these facilities has its own unique purpose, which means the need for custom solutions from cold storage builders.

Different products also have different requirements in terms of temperature, shelf life, and the amount of time they can safely be kept outside of cold storage when being transferred between warehouses and transportation. A large-scale distribution venue, for example, is going to have very different cold storage needs from a local fruit farm, winery, or grow room.

Hansen Cold Storage Construction is the premier cold storage builder in California, with over 30 years’ experience at the local, national, and international levels. We’ve worked with everyone from local suppliers to multinational corporations, which is why we’re familiar with the ins and outs of what makes cold storage effective every step of the way.