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The development of new food technology has allowed fresh food to be frozen and transported safely all over the world without running the risk of the food expiring or becoming tainted before it gets to the customer.

Of course, food transportation on that scale requires a great deal of cold storage to help it get there safely. Cold storage is exactly as the name sounds – temperature-controlled facilities, containers, and trailers that maintain the needed temperatures for each product to stay safe on its journey and maintain freshness before it gets to the customer.

Running a cold storage facility involves a lot more steps than you may expect. There’s a lot of expectations placed on the sort of warehouse shelving you can use, as well as the various federal, state, and local regulations you’ll have to contend with to make sure your products are stored safely and properly.

There’s a few basics of cold storage that every warehouse manager will need to know before running a cold storage operation, and understanding these can make the entire process easier:


The uses of cold storage: Even above and beyond the obvious need for cold storage – that is, food storage & management – cold storage facilities can serve many different needs. For example, a warehouse can be used to distribute frozen food products to different retail locations, or it may be used by a restaurant, hotel, and the like to store bulk goods until they’re needed by the kitchen staff. Whether you’re shipping frozen pizzas to a major supermarket chain or holding onto cuts of meat until a local meat packer or food truck needs them will determine how you store the rest of your products.


Safe storage: Compared to other warehouse types that deal in non-perishable inventory, cold storage facilities need to be more versatile and customizable in both their design and the types of industrial shelves they use. Above and beyond the standard fare like pallet racks, cold storage will need to use safer storage options like germ free shelving, restaurant shelving, and wire kitchen shelving to help keep their products safe and adhere to federal guidelines.


Customizable facilities: In addition to having the right kind of storage, your facilities need to be able to keep up with the design needs of cold storage as well. Make sure you can divide your warehouse to keep allergenic products such as frozen seafood from contaminating the products it shouldn’t come in contact with. You should also be able to customize your warehouse to meet the needs of different customers, if you serve as a third-party provider – some customers will need their products shipped out faster or stored for longer, and this can result in different layout needs on your part.


Knowing the requirements of frozen goods: The needs of your goods being stored will vary pretty widely depending on the good in question. Flowers and plants will need to be stored differently than food, which will need to be stored differently than pharmaceutical or biochemical products, and so on. Define a specific goal for your cold storage facility and make sure you know how to safely and quickly handle each product type you may come across to ensure safety and productivity across each step in the delivery chain.

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