Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage

SIC 4222

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the warehousing and storage of perishable goods under refrigeration. The establishments may also rent locker space for the storage of food products for individual households and provide incidental services for processing, preparing, or packaging such food for storage. Establishments primarily selling frozen foods for home freezers (freezer and locker meat provisioners) are classified in SIC 5421: Meat and Fish (Seafood) Markets, Including Freezer Provisioners.

Cold storage operators have historically acted as middlemen between manufacturers and grocery or convenience store retailers. They provide storage and distribution services for domestic and international clients. These operators have been able to meet the needs of their clients by offering, through the latest technology, an efficient and inexpensive way to store goods.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, revenue from the refrigerated storage facilities industry increased slowly but steadily during the first decade of the 2000s, from $2.7 billion in 2001 to $3.4 billion in 2009. General refrigerated storage capacity in the United States, however, declined at the end of the decade, from 3.2 billion cubic feet in 2005 to 2.5 billion in 2007. The five states with the largest gross general warehouse capacity were California, Florida, Washington, Wisconsin, and Texas, who have led in gross general warehouse capacity since the 1990s. Public general warehouse capacity totaled 2.44 billion gross cubic feet in 2005, an increase of 40 percent since 1995. Public general storage capacity accounted for 75 percent of the general storage, while private and semiprivate general warehouse capacity, which totaled 822 million gross cubic feet in 2007, accounted for 25 percent.

Companies that otherwise would have to operate large warehouses and spend considerable resources on computerized tracking systems are able to avail themselves of services from the cold storage operators. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, cold storage operators developed expertise through experimentation and the application of new technology that food manufacturers were anxious to use. As the production of this expertise became costly and time-consuming for food manufacturers, they elected to outsource their food storage needs to refrigerated storage experts. Demand for frozen foods, especially those that contain no preservatives, an evolving market trend since the 1970s, benefited the industry.

According to IBISWorld, the top four companies accounted for about 30 percent of industry revenues in 2010. A 2011 report predicted consolidation would continue through the second decade of the twenty-first century. For example, in 2010 industry leader AmeriCold Logistics purchased Versacold International's U.S. operations (Versacold Logistics was Canada's largest refrigerated storage company, with 120 million cubic feet of storage capacity in 2011). One of the most significant issues affecting the industry in the early 2010s was advances in technology, as companies sought more effective and cost-efficient methods of refrigeration.

The top public refrigerated warehouses in the United States for 2011, according to the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, included AmeriCold Logistics of Atlanta, Georgia, with 878 million cubic feet of storage; Millard Refrigerated Services of Omaha, Nebraska, with 293 million cubic feet; U.S. Cold Storage of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, with 186 million cubic feet; and Preferred Freezer Services of Chatham, New Jersey, with 170 million cubic feet. In terms of revenue, Americold Logistics had estimated annual sales of $386.1 million in 2011, followed by Millard Refrigerated Services with $89.6 million, U.S. Cold Storage with approximately $80 million, and Preferred Freezer Services with $45.7 million.

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News and information about Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage

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US Fed News Service, Including US State News; December 10, 2012; 333 words
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US Fed News Service, Including US State News; May 21, 2008; 700+ words
...NAICS 71311), 11.1 percent, and in refrigerated warehousing and storage (NAICS 49312), 9.2 percent. Labor...warehousing and storage (NAICS 49311), and refrigerated warehousing and storage (NAICS 49312). Measures for these new...
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...Seafood canning Marine cargo handling Copper foundries (except die-casting) Bottled water manufacturing Refrigerated warehousing and storage Motor vehicle seating and interior trim manufacturing Pet and pet supplies stores Poultry Processing Support...
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...Center has worked there an average of 20 years. "The national average for OSHA-recordable injuries for refrigerated warehousing and storage (NAICS Code 49312) is 8.70," said Alberda. "This is the most recent data available from the Department...

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