Refrigerated Warehousing Systems

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Refrigerated Warehousing Systems

Thanks to advancements in refrigerating and transportation technology, companies can now send perishable food items across state and country lines. These advancements help to protect the integrity of perishable foods to ensure customers who consume them do not become ill. One important chain in the link that makes this possible is the refrigerated warehouse contractor. However, due to the high costs associated with cold storage, some manufacturers outsource this function to logistics companies who specialize in this area.

Different kinds of cheese on shelves

Understanding What Cold Storage Is

Cold storage units operate much like our own refrigerators at home, but on a larger scale. Essentially, cold storage prevents the decay of temperature-controlled substances, such as meat, dairy and fish. Here are some examples of cold storage:

A farmer may store his meat in a refrigerated warehouse, while waiting for a butcher to pick up his order.

A butcher may have a cold storage unit to keep meat before he chops it up and packages it for supermarkets.

A supermarket uses its cold storage unit to cool the excess packaged meat and dairy items that will restock its shelves until the next shipment arrives.

Types of Cold Storage

Because cold storage has several uses and stores different types of goods, there are many types of facilities. See below for the six main types:

Dedicated custom cold storage facilities

These are usually provided by contractors to help companies who prefer not to handle cold storage and all its varying complexities, on site.

Pharmaceutical grade cold storage

When research organizations, hospitals and large clinics need to store blood, temperature-controlled vaccines and biopharmaceuticals, this is the solution.

Plant-attached Cold Storage

Some companies prefer not to outsource their cold storage operations, making a plant-attached cold storage unit their best option.

Blast Freezers and Chillers

These are commonly used in the hospitality industry to cool foods quickly before customers purchase or consume them.

Refrigerated Containers

These are great for storing small quantities and have the added benefit of being mobile.

Cold Rooms

A cold room is a much larger alternative to refrigerated containers, blast freezers and chillers.

Concerns for Refrigerated Warehousing Systems

Though technology in this field continues to advance, there are some concerns associated with refrigerated warehousing. Here are just a few:

Perishable items have varying shelf-lives, required temperatures and the amount of time they can be out of cold storage before they begin to go bad.

Different types of perishable items have their own rules and regulations governing how they are handled, stored and transported.

Energy efficiency continues to be a concern as energy bills can skyrocket without proper refrigerated warehouse installation and cold storage maintenance.

The companies who maintain cold storage spaces must also follow strict laws and regulations to ensure food items do not decay.

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