The modern world is a marvelous place. Whenever you need something, you can take a short trip to the store and find virtually whatever you want. In fact, many people do not even have to leave the house because online retailers and services can send required items directly to the home, even fresh food items! Most people would recognize cold storage as a large warehouse, or even as something that kitchen designers might add to commercial kitchens or businesses. But, before you go searching for a cooler service near you, be sure to learn about the basics of cold storage.
Most people never consider all that goes into ensuring those products are not only on the shelves but that spoilage is kept to a minimum. Perishable goods endure on store shelves and in the home for an exceptional time, even though they may travel all over the United States or even the world! This is largely possible due to cooler services, both in cold storage facilities and refrigeration units in transportation vehicles.
The Basics of Cold Storage
Foods and certain non-edible products require low temperatures to prolong their longevity or ensure that the product remains as potent or effective as expected. After harvesting or production, they need a chiller room to maintain optimum temperatures while the items await buyer orders and shipment. Those cold storage rooms may feature a variety of temperatures ranging from 20 degrees Celsius to 0, depending on the product, as different supplies have varying “sweet spots” for most effective conservation.
Other products, such as seafood and microwavable dinners, require freezer storage to keep them from spoiling and to prevent microorganisms from growing on them; this reduces incidents of food poisoning and other illnesses. Food and product safety is of the utmost importance, and businesses want their commodities to last as long as possible; if stored properly, the goods remain fresh until they can transport them. Likewise, vendors know that these products will last longer, so they do not have as much unsellable waste to contend with.
Why Third-Party Cold Storage Facilities?
One would think that it would be most advantageous for any company dealing with large quantities of perishable or temperature-controlled products to have its own cold storage facilities. After all, they could keep their merchandise nearby for replenishment purposes and save a lot of money on transporting goods.
In rare instances, some larger companies do have their own cold storage. However, they often use outsourced facilities to maintain their stock as well. The problem is that cold storage is a specialized field and requires a lot of space and resources, more than what even large companies can reasonably afford. They often have chains of stores and do not have the time or resources to maintain multiple storage sites and handle all the logistics of transportation, not to mention all the other requirements.
In addition, they may have a range of products requiring versatile temperature levels, which means the necessity for even more space – different rooms set at specific temperatures, including freezer units. That is a lot to contend with, and it is much easier (and cheaper!) to work out an agreement with a company that lives and breathes cold storage, maintaining sprawling to meet the needs of multiple companies and products.
Industries That Use Cooler Services
Cold storage services are on the rise as more vendors and businesses realize they need a designated place to keep their products until they are ready for transport or sale. They may keep small amounts of cold storage for replenishment, but most businesses do not have the room or space to maintain more.
While it is unsurprising that companies dealing with food products employ cold and freezer services, you may be surprised at other industries needing them.
Here are some sectors that use them:
Farmers and Harvesters
A fairly obvious choice, the countdown begins for those who deal in fresh fruit and vegetables as soon as the harvest is complete. However, their race against time is extended when they have a suitable facility ready for cold storage. This allows them ample time to collect enough products for transport and ensure they remain ripe until they reach the consumers needing them.
Also unsurprising, those who sell products they receive from other companies need them to last long enough for consumers to purchase them. Items come in from all over the world, in some cases, and they need suitable storage in a location that is easily accessible to local companies. This often means products leaving one cold storage unit and traveling via refrigerated transportation to a second site.
Breweries and Wineries
Beer and wine need time to ferment away from sunlight and thrive in a controlled temperature environment. Refrigeration storage is part of the process, allowing these beverages to mature while increasing their longevity.
Many medicines and vaccines require refrigeration storage to maintain their potency, as warmer or inconsistent temperatures can cause them to lose their integrity. Plus, hospitals have sensitive bodily fluids such as blood and plasma that need controlled temperatures that can become unusable otherwise. This includes a necessity for skin, organ, and tissue storage to maintain these anatomical parts for replacement surgeries.
Chemicals, Cosmetics, and Botanics
Many industries make use of chemicals, some of which can be volatile. Maintaining these reagents until they are ready for their intended purpose usually involves a cool, controlled environment. Sometimes these chemicals go into cosmetics as well, and these products, too, are kept in cold storage to preserve their longevity.
The botanical field deals with plants, which scientists use for research and industries use to make a variety of products, from herbs and supplements to healthcare products and cooking spices. Yet, like animal products, plants need a proper environment to prevent spoilage, so they often employ the services of cold storage providers.
The Bottom Line
These are just a small sample of different industries that use cold storage to one extent or another. Restaurants, hotels, and even museums may need these services to help preserve their commodities until they are required. As demand for products rises, so does the need for more cold storage sites; the industry is growing accordingly, providing safe and compliant preservation for anything that needs refrigeration or freezer services.