Cold storage warehousing is an absolute requirement for the industries such as meat, agriculture, frozen foods, export and import, pharmaceuticals, and the floral industry. Interestingly, the total volume of these industries has augmented multiple folds since the beginning of the 21st century. And because of that, the need for cold storage warehousing has also increased.
So, if you own a business in any of these categories or are looking to start one, it is important that you understand cold storage warehousing and know how to maximize its efficiency.
In this article, we will discuss the major issues faced in cold storage warehousing, along with effective solutions which will allow you to maximize the potential of your cold warehouse. In addition to that, we will also discuss some practices and tips that will help you save a ton of money. So stay with us till the end!
What Exactly Is Cold Storage Warehousing?
First of all, let’s discuss what cold storage warehousing is. To maintain the quality, integrity, and shelf life of certain perishable and temperature-sensitive products, it is important that we store them at a specific temperature. This is achieved through cold storage warehousing. A cold storage warehouse is basically a hall-sized industrial refrigerator where different products are kept at different temperature ranges.
Multiple businesses use cold storage warehousing to store their end products before shipping. In addition to that, cold storage warehousing also helps maintain the quality of these products during large-scale distribution where products have to be shipped to far-off places.
Businesses and Industries That Use Cold Storage
Interestingly, a large number of businesses utilize cold storage. These include, Food Industry, Meat Industry, Agriculture Industry, Floral Industry, Import and Export Industry, Breweries, beverages and Juice Industries, Chemical Industry, and the Pharmaceuticals Industry.
Efficient Cold Storage Warehousing Solution
Here are the best tips and techniques for efficient cold storage warehousing:
Provide Employees With Suitable Equipment
One of the major issues with cold storage warehousing is the effect of the harsh-cold temperature on the employees working in this sector. Most people are not used to temperatures as low as those in a cold storage warehouse. If the employees are not kept safe from the cold, they can waste time lingering in warmer areas or even open doors to escape the low temperature. This can greatly affect their efficiency and decrease the speed of the work.
Provide your employees with suitable equipment and clothing to help them withstand the cold so they don’t slow down. Insulation-lined uniforms, specially-designed gloves, caps, and made-for-cold boots can help your employees work efficiently and ensure workplace safety.
Understand and Utilize Different Temperature Ranges
Different kinds of products need to be stored in different temperature ranges. For example, meat and dairy products need to be stored at 31 to 38 degrees, whereas most medicines need to be stored at 60 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature range at which the products are stored affects their quality and shelf-life.
Even a slight change in temperature can cause food items and drugs to go bad, causing the loss of thousands, potentially millions of dollars! This is something you definitely don’t want. Even if not specifically set, a cold storage warehouse can have different temperatures in different areas. Understand the temperature ranges of these regions and use them to store products their temperature is suitable for. This can save you from different kinds of loss.
Use Machinery Designed for Cold Conditions
The cold temperature of a cold storage warehouse affects not only the humans working in it but also the equipment and machinery being used. Constantly moving in and out from a cold environment to a warmer environment, which is the case of movable equipment, can cause moisture buildup, which can cause rusting, and the ultimate breakdown of much-needed machinery.
In addition, most machinery is not designed for low temperatures and can cause issues without proper modifications. The breakdown of valuable and operation-essential machinery will not only slow down the whole supply chain but can also cause monetary loss.
While buying machinery for your cold storage warehouse, make sure that it is designed for cold conditions. For example, touchscreens are very difficult to operate with gloves and will cause difficulty for your employees. Machinery with big buttons will be ideal for a cold storage warehouse, as it will be much easier to operate in the chilling cold.
Even if the equipment is not specifically designed for lower temperatures you can make it suitable for your work with just a few small modifications. Selecting the right machinery will not only greatly increase the efficiency of the whole operation, but you will also save a ton on repair and maintenance costs.
Adopt Dense Storage
Dense storage is another method that has proven to be highly efficient when used for cold storage. If products are densely packed, there will be a lesser chance of heat loss, and they will stay good even if there is temperature fluctuation.
Store products in tall, deeply designed compartments so that they stay good even if the temperature goes down due to any disturbance! This technique will also keep your products cool for some time in case of a sudden power outage!
Adopt Measures To Control Heat Loss
Heat loss is a major issue in cold storage warehousing. It costs to cool warm air inside the cold storage warehouse. Any warm air that enters the warehouse will have to be cooled.
Moreover, if the temperature increases beyond a certain critical point due to heat loss, the products stored inside the cold storage warehouse will start to go bad. This can cause you a major financial loss.
Different measures can be utilized to control heat loss and maintain the quality of stored products. Primarily, a smaller roof will allow less area for heat loss compared to a large roof. In addition to that, a smaller entrance to the warehouse means a smaller path for warm air to enter. This can help greatly reduce heat loss.
Insulation is one of the best ways to control excessive heat loss. Try insulating the walls and roof of your warehouse so that the heat stays outside.
You can greatly improve the efficiency of your cold storage warehouse by integrating automation into your operations. For example, install automatic, sensor-operated doors in your warehouse instead of manually operated ones. Automatic doors will instantly close when not needed and stop warm air from entering the warehouse.
With the advancements in technology, different kinds of robotic equipment are available in the market, which can help you maximize the efficiency of your cold storage warehouse.
Automated palletizing can minimize heat loss as it is done right in the warehouse. With automated palletizing, you won’t need extra machinery, and it will completely cut back-and-forth trips, which are a major cause of heat loss.
Conclusion – So, How Do You Maximize Efficiency in Cold Storage?
Cold storage is utilized in a lot of different industries, and there are many challenges that come with it. In this article, we have gathered up all the major problems linked with cold storage warehousing, along with their effective solutions. Try these tips and practices to maximize the efficiency of your operations. If all these techniques seem difficult to incorporate, you can also try Cold Chain 3PL for the best cold storage warehousing solutions!