The global cold storage market is expected to triple over the next 10 years, from $1.2 billion in 2022 to more than $3.8 billion in 2032, according to a recent report from Towards Healthcare. Driving the growth are a number of factors: rapidly increasing demand for perishable goods, including fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meat, seafood, and frozen foods; globalization and trade trends that demand longer shipping times; and increasing demand for online grocery services. In North America, two providers dominate the cold-storage market: Lineage Logistics and Americold, with a fragmented group of regional companies making up the balance. As demands grow so does the need for new investment – in properties primarily, but also technology, equipment, and space at ports and terminals to limit spoilage that was so prevalent in the COVID era. On the equipment side, lower demand in 2023 put little stress on reefer availability, but that is likely to change soon. That's because the 288,000 reefer units that carriers acquired between 2008 and 2012 are now nearing retirement age, leading to replacement buying, according to Eskesen Advisory. Likewise, lower demand put little stress on port fluidity in 2023, but with new routing patterns resulting from disruption to services in the Suez and Panama canals, bunching could begin to occur at ports and terminals in the trans-Pacific trades. This session will assess the growth of the global cold-storage market, the warehouse and equipment investment outlook, and how technology is influencing improving efficiency for refrigerated shippers at ports and throughout the global cold chain. In the process, it will address the following questions:
• What is the state of the cold-storage market, the inventory, and construction outlook?
• Where is the greatest demand for new development and what’s driving it?
• What is the investment outlook for new cold storage, equipment, technology, and ports?
The global cold chain is composed of numerous market segments – ag products, frozen foods, seafood, poultry, meat, dairy products, pharmaceuticals, wine and spirits, and more. With such an eclectic mix of product categories, it’s no surprise that each has its own needs and challenges. Unlike the dry sector, where product handling is largely consistent across thousands of commodities, the reefer sector must account for the very different supply chain requirements for frozen goods and fresh produce, seafood and meat, on the same vessel. Market forces such as economic swings and weather only complicate matters for importers, exporters, and their service providers. This session, composed of representatives of several market segments – poultry, fresh produce, dairy, frozen goods, and seafood — along with a senior executive from a major ocean carrier will dive into the specific macro elements of these very different products, the logistics of managing them, and how service providers address the various challenges. Among the questions it will address are:
• How has the market changed for these commodity groups since COVID?
• What are the major threats and challenges on the horizon?
• How are shippers and their service providers working together to improve efficiency?