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Best Practices To Manage Cold Storage Warehouse

April 12, 2022 Blog

Operating a cold storage warehouse is difficult owing to the necessity to maintain a consistent temperature for storage while keeping the equipment and people comfortable and ready to perform at their best.

The bulk of items housed in cold storage facilities is refrigerated and frozen foods. In fact, The global frozen market is projected to grow from USD 256.46 billion in 2021 to USD 385.04 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.98% during the 2021-2028 period. Read More

Other sectors that rely on cold storage include pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and even high-tech electronics.

Here are some challenges impacting cold storage warehouse management:

  • Food protection:

Regulating and maintaining the proper temperature and humidity to preserve and extend the life of your items may be difficult and dangerous because various products require different temperatures. Traditional temperature monitoring systems rely primarily on the operator’s knowledge, who must be present on-site to change and operate the entire system.

  • Maintaining product’s life cycle:

Maintaining the proper temperature of perishable items is critical for preserving their quality and safety from the point of manufacturing to the customer. Failure to maintain appropriate transportation results in food product textual deterioration, discoloration, bruising, and microbiological development.

  • Labeling products and racks:

Barcode labels serve as a vital interface between physical goods and the computer systems that track their receipt, storage, retrieval, and transportation. Appropriate freeze-grade rack labels are an important component of the overall traceability system. Freezer-grade rack labels provide a strong, permanent bind on typical rack surfaces and may withstand temperatures as low as -6.6°C.

  • Product traceability:

Finding and determining the impacted product in the case of temperature excursions is only achievable with precise location information. Fresh food, for example, need further control over elements like carbon dioxide and humidity. It is critical to have very exact and accurate documentation.

  • Fulfillment and courier shipments:

The goal of the entire cold chain process should be to reduce the amount of time it takes to transfer a product through it. Efficiency is critical because delays in transferring items from one facility to another create weaknesses.

  • Food supplies in less-than-truckload quantities make up most shipments, both incoming from suppliers to distribution centers and outgoing to consumers.
  • To avoid cross-contamination with the raw product and damage from the heavier things placed at the bottom, all products must be loaded appropriately.

If perishable items, such as seafood, pre-cut veggies, and ready-to-eat products, are not maintained at the proper temperature, they might become dangerous.

Here are some best practices in cold storage warehouse management:

  • Form a contingency plan

Even with the best monitoring technology, an unplanned delay or re-routing could jeopardize your shipment’s stability. Shippers must work with their transportation partners to develop contingency plans that clearly map out a strategy in the event of a delay.

  • Guard against vulnerabilities

To manage cold chain shipments well, all parties involved must foster a strong partnership. Everyone involved needs a good working knowledge of the best practices for cold chain handling and transportation. Food products must be moved as fast as possible to give consumers the most valuable, nutritious, wholesome products with as much shelf life as possible.

  • Balance temperature changes

For warehouses that require multiple temperature zones according to the season, a modular curtain wall system is a flexible, low-risk option that can go up, come down, and be moved from building to building. Refrigerated air is expensive, so a single change to a cold room will help you realize cost savings. 

  • Control heat loss

High-density storage creates a smaller area to cool and an environment that minimizes heat loss. Automated storage also minimizes the amount of warmer air that enters the temperature-controlled area. The warmer a product is upon entering, the more it draws on refrigeration costs.

  • Install automatic palletizing solutions

Use new robot technology, seals, cables, energy supply, and lubricants specifically designed for the harsh freezer environment. This technology enables palletizing to be done inside the freezer without the use of protective heating shrouds. This eliminates conveyors and ice buildups on the products while minimizing the handling of frozen goods by workers in sub-zero temperatures.

  • Effective Infra concept & maintenance plan

The cold chain infrastructure includes temperature-controlled storage facilities and transportation-trained operations and maintenance personnel with efficient management procedures. Temperature-controlled storage locations include pack houses, aging chambers, bulk, and hub refrigerated warehouses that keep fresh food safe, delay deterioration, and extend shelf life. Refrigerated transportation (freezing) is an important element of the cold chain as it guarantees the safety and temperature of the product in transit. The presence of well-trained O & M (Operational and Maintenance) personnel and effective management procedures contribute to the smooth functioning of the cold chain. The cold chain infrastructure contributes to a resilient medical system by maintaining quality from production to administration of vaccines and temperature-sensitive medicines.

  • Pest and hygiene management

Pests carry the risk of illness, pollution, and property damage. Serious pest problems in places such as warehouses and refrigerated warehouses can cause significant losses. Perishable items are especially at high risk of invasion by pests from mice and mice and are always attracted to food. Companies need to take steps to avoid corruption and loss. Populations of rats, cockroaches, spiders, and other types of pests can grow rapidly and cause serious financial loss to the business. Cold storage owners need to take appropriate steps to prevent rot by adhering to hygiene and regular pest control.

  • Packing material & VAS process plan

The main trend in the cold storage industry today is the expansion of value-added services. This is an additional non-core service that Cold Storage companies can offer to their customers. As customer needs change, many operators in traditional warehouse spaces are diversifying and trying to find new sources of revenue. Some value-added services being offered by cold storage operators are Portion packaging, High-pressure processing (HPP) and high-temperature short-time heating (HTST), Blast freezing, and Custom pallet building.

-Prabhu Muthusamy

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