A trend across all cold storage subsectors is a shift toward larger, multi-storey facilities. According to the Global Cold Chain Alliance and DatexCorp, the total capacity of cold storage warehouses has been increasing at roughly 4% annually since 2013. Industrial real estate firm CBRE estimates that average warehouse heights have increased by more than one-third since the 1960s.
This is partially due to an increased need for warehouses in urban areas, where real estate is more expensive, and partially due to the high cost of building and operating a cold storage facility. Because of their sophisticated freezer and cooler needs and comparatively high energy usage, the cost of operating cold storage facilities can be as much as three times that of operating conventional warehouse space.
Nine storey high facilities capable of keeping foods at temperatures from 0 to -25 degrees Celsius are already a reality. Even larger facilities of 50,000-square-metres or more are also being built.
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