The Basics of Refrigerated Warehousing: All You Need to Know
According to the FDA, food that’s left at room temperature can go bad in just 20 minutes, making space for bacteria and life-threatening illnesses to breed. Grocers, restaurants, and food service providers know that and use refrigerated warehousing as a result. However, there are a lot of types of businesses that rely on this type of service.
Finding the right service is vital but you need to be informed before you decide. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Refrigerated Warehousing
Refrigerated warehousing or cold storage is used by a wide variety of companies. Any time a controlled substance, from food to medicine to volatile chemicals, needs to be kept at a cold temperature, cold storage is used. It keeps substances and materials from decaying often so that companies can abide by laws and regulations that apply to the particular item.
Manufacturers might use cold storage to warehouse their products before end-users receive them. Meatpackers often use cold storage on-site or off. Wherever it is, it needs to be accessible to their vehicle fleet.
Some end users might have a cold storage facility to hold onto products they’ve received but they haven’t used yet. If the owner of fast-food franchises in a city has several restaurants to serve, they might use refrigerated warehousing to keep their weekly shipment in temporarily to then distribute it daily.
Third-party logistics providers use refrigerated warehousing to keep the products that end-users need most often. Sensitive dairy products need constant temperature control.
The Precision Involved
Regulations and laws surrounding refrigerated freight make it so that cold storage is much more complicated than dealing with dry freight. When transporting refrigerated materials, the costs are higher. Manufacturers use third-party logistics because it’s much easier than building their own systems.
Transportation for refrigerated goods has increased due to the demands of consumers. Whether it’s the number of medications that are now available online or the number of grocery providers shipping to homes, there’s a lot of freight to move. This means that refrigerated warehouses are becoming not only more common but more sophisticated.
Packages can be tracked very closely, which allows both temperature monitoring and knowledge of delivery progress. Retailers and users have higher expectations than ever when it comes to tracing shipments. Optimizing processes is vital for companies to stay competitive.
That’s where refrigerated warehousing providers come in.
Refrigerated Storage Problems
It’s important for both end-users and third-party logistics providers to get an understanding of the issues around refrigerated freight.
There are now more diverse customers than ever. Refrigeration is needed for products with varying shelf lives that require a range of temperatures to maintain viability. If you’re not able to get customized solutions, you can’t provide a wide variety of products to consumers.
Products that contain perishable nutrients needs to be stored at appropriate temperatures. Flowers, plants, and perishable fruits, meats, and dairy all have sensitive requirements. Biopharmaceuticals is one of the fastest-growing user bases of refrigerated storage.
Every kind of product has its own regulations so a varied solution is your best bet for ensuring that you’re providing the kind of service that consumers need. You’ll also be able to ensure that everything is up to code and standards expected by regulators.
Energy efficiency is also important. Better energy efficiency brings down costs. Simply using the right doors and limiting exposure to the openness of the warehouse makes a big difference.
Types of Storage
Using the right kind of storage is important to meet the standards required by each type of product.
A refrigerated container is a basic and cost-effective option for small quantities of products. These containers can be mobile, which allows for a lot of flexibility.
Blast freezers and chillers allow companies to quickly store products. Restaurants and food service companies use this kind of solution a lot when they have to work remotely or move products around. This solution is also perfect for catering companies.
Facilities that just need a lot of cold, dry storage can rely on cold rooms. These are large alternatives to smaller refrigerated spaces and offer a lot of control and flexibility at the same time.
If you have pharmaceuticals to deal with, they have their special grade of storage to maintain. Talk to anyone working at a hospital or research center and they’ll tell you how strict the rules around these kinds of storage units are. They have extra features that help provide ideal storage for blood, vaccines, and biopharmaceuticals.
If these solutions aren’t ideal, consider a custom or “plant-attached” storage solution. By attaching a refrigerated warehousing unit to your own site, it’s possible to keep your items safe and at-hand at all times. When needed, the products can be transported via a conveyor that takes them straight to where you need them on site.
Large companies will need to pay for a dedicated custom space if they provide products and services to a large client base in a large region. Depending on your geographical location, having a custom-built solution might be the right move.
Refrigerated Warehousing Actually Saves Money
The amount of money that refrigerated warehousing can save your company might not be clear until you start thinking about the kind of problems you can face. Lawsuits, fines, and loss of a license could be far more damaging to your bottom line than the cost of using refrigerated warehouse solutions. Consider the right solution for safety and ease of use for you and your company.
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