“Now, even hamburger buns need delivery through the cold chain,” said Spencer Levy, chairman of Americas research for CBRE. “You are seeing an increase there as demand for non-preservative food rises.”



All that online grocery shopping is causing a cold storage shortage in the US


by Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service

via The Star Online (Malaysia) - 10 Jul 2019


VERNON, California: Deep in a Vernon warehouse, barrels of frozen mango puree from Mexico are stacked four stories high. Hams for Christmas are flash-frozen as June temperatures climb outside.


Inside this dimly lit chamber of the Lineage Logistics warehouse, it is 10 degrees below zero – cold enough to stop a ballpoint pen from rolling out ink and send an ominous chill through the soles of visitors’ shoes.


Lineage is the biggest player in the US’ cold storage industry, a business consumers seldom see but one that plays a crucial role in keeping edible fare fresh from the time it’s harvested until it reaches the kitchen fridge.


Now, changes in the way people shop have the “cold chain” scrambling to keep up. Consumers, particularly younger buyers, are turning more and more to online grocery shopping and prepared meal services, which means more refrigerated warehouses are needed to keep that stuff cold.


To keep pace, the country will need 100 million square feet of new cold storage warehouse space over the next five years, according to a report by real estate brokerage CBRE.


It’s a particularly hot corner in the mushrooming warehouse business, fed by demand from Amazon.com and other e-commerce operations, which have been growing at lightning speed. Last month, investment manager Blackstone Group said it would pay US$18.7bil (RM77.46bil) to buy a network of US industrial warehouses from Singapore-based GLP, reported to be the largest private real estate transaction in history.


California is the biggest user of cold storage, with an existing 16.5 million square feet, and Los Angeles will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the coming boom in cold storage construction because of its large population and position as a global transportation hub.


The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the United States’ biggest container port complex, have more than doubled their refrigerated container capacity in recent years to address increasing import and export demand for fresh and frozen food products including meat, pork, poultry and animal feed, CBRE said.


Demand for cold storage is also being elevated by consumers’ growing aversion to chemical food preservatives. Refrigeration is a highly effective food preservative that can keep crops such as apples fresh-tasting for months without chemicals by slowing ripening and decay.


“Now, even hamburger buns need delivery through the cold chain,” said Spencer Levy, chairman of Americas research for CBRE...