The growing consumer demand for chilled and frozen food continues to challenge the cold chain as living standards rise worldwide and developing countries acquire a taste for protein, notes a feature story in the October Food Logistics. Setbacks, including port labor strikes, food recalls, etc., don’t even register on the global cold chain’s growth curve.
The Global Cold Chain Alliance’s Global Cold Storage Capacity Report by the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) confirms the cold chain has been on a consistent growth curve, even during the recent recession, and the growth expected to continue despite economic stagnation in some parts of the globe. The total capacity of refrigerated warehouses was estimated at 552 million cubic meters worldwide in 2014, an increase of 92 million cubic meters (20 percent) over 2012.
Even in the U.S., the most developed market, posted a gain in gross cold storage capacity. In 2013, there were fewer warehouses in the smallest size category compared with the previous U.S. national survey. But the capacity gained from a boost in the number of larger warehouses was greater than the capacity lost from the decline in smaller warehouses. Thus, there was a net increase in gross capacity.
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