If you are in the cold chain business, consider yourself lucky.
The growing global need for perishable foods is spurring a rapid expansion of the cold chain market.
Not even the recent recession or continued economic stagnation in other parts of the world has prevented the cold chain from posting impressive growth figures, according to two new reports.
The total capacity of refrigerated warehouses worldwide grew by as much as 20 percent between 2012 and 2014, increasing from 460 million cubic meters to an estimated 552 cubic meters, to cite the Global Cold Storage Capacity Report by the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses.
The second report by Research and Markets observes the following:
“…one of the main drivers of the Global Cold Chain market is the increased need to reduce the food wastage because of spoilage. The large global population is one of the reasons for the increased demand for food products which has led to an increase in the demand for cold chains to help in the preservation of food products, and this demand is expected to increase further in the future.”
Although India for the first time surpassed the United States as the country with the most refrigerated warehouse space, the U.S. gross capacity still grew. The net increase came even as the number of refrigerated warehouses in the United States fell from 1,528 to 1,497. However, since the decline is attributed to the shuttering of warehouses in the smallest size category (70,801 cubic meters), the addition of new - larger - warehouses more than made up for the loss.
The United States remains the largest market for the cold chain as a result of the increase in exports and imports of perishables. U.S. cold storage facilities also tend to be significantly more technologically advanced compared to their counterparts in emerging markets.
Besides India, countries like Turkey, Peru, and Chile have seen dramatic growth in refrigerated warehouse space, each expanding 35 percent or more annually over the last six years.
And the future of the cold chain appears equally rosy. With demand for cold chain logistics increasing in emerging economies, it is forecast to grow at a combined annual rate of nearly 16 percent until 2019. During the same time period, the value of the global cold chain market is expected to reach approximately $23 billion in 2019, up from $9.8 billion in 2013.