That investment is evident on two levels: technology and infrastructure. Nordic made a multimillion investment in its information technology (IT) support services by acquiring Red Prairie, a warehouse management system (WMS), and developing labor management and transportation management systems.
Nordic has 13 distribution centers throughout the Southeast. Two-thirds of its business is grocery retail and one-third foodservice, and among its customer base are chicken and turkey producers. These companies account for considerable volume for both retail and foodservice customers, but they also have a significant export business.
Much of that export business is handled through ports in New Orleans and Wilmington, NC. Noting the number of major poultry processors in the Carolinas and Virginia, Nordic has opened a facility in Wilmington, NC, to further support that business and the import-export needs of other customers.
The Port of Wilmington has good potential for business growth for Nordic as “it is picking up considerable business because of the congestion in other, more established ports,” says Schoenl.
Energy costs and sustainability are also driving change in the PRW industry.
“Green is still big and still comes with a price,” says Hudson. “New energy efficient technologies usually come with an ROI of 18 months or less. We are seeing energy savings come from lights, battery systems, doors and new technologies on refrigeration systems.”
“Energy is our second highest cost with labor being the highest,” says VersaCold’s Kappmeier. “We have made improvements throughout all of our facilities from simple things like door management to new, high-efficiency lighting systems and high-efficiency refrigeration systems.
“Overall, we avoided kilowatt hours by 22 million and were able to offset to a great extent the more frequent and high utility rate increase suffered in 2008,” he says. This was particularly significant as energy costs had increased, in some areas, 30 percent last year.
|GROSS REFIGERATED SPACE||CUBIC FEET|
|1. AmeriCold Logistics LLC||509,619,658|
|2. VersaCold Group (an Eimskip company)||414,395,998|
|3. Millard Refrigerated Services||275,000,000|
|4. Preferred Freezer Services||186,250,625|
|5. United States Cold Storage||161,792,447|
|6. Burris Refrigerated Logistics||72,396,960|
|7. Interstate Warehousing Inc.||68,402,968|
|8. Nordic Cold Storage LLC||60,143,000|
|9. Inland Cold Storage||57,461,576|
|10. Cloverleaf Cold Storage Co.||52,231,973|
|11. Total Logistic Control LLC||49,003,066|
|12. Columbia Colstor Inc.||47,600,000|
|13. Richmond Cold Storage Co.||44,657,281|
|14. Henningsen Cold Storage Co.||42,589,635|
|15. Frialsa Frigorificos S.A. de C.V.||34,303,927|
|16. Hanson Logistics||32,496,430|
|17. Terminal Freezers Inc.||25,938,138|
|18. Confederation Freezers||25,630,000|
|19. Conestoga Cold Storage||25,610,000|
|20. Congbec Logistics Inc.||23,850,000|
|Total North American Top 20 Space||2,209,373,682|
|Source: International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW), Alexandria, VA.|