16 April, 2024


Best practices for managing a cold storage facility

The international market for refrigerated and frozen goods is expanding year by year. So effective cold chain solutions are a must because they help preserve the freshness of temperature-sensitive products. Some food products such as meat or dairy are stored in temperature-controlled facilities by manufacturers and distributors. As land, energy, and labour costs continue to rise, cold storage warehouse operators are searching for automation to cut costs, and there are numerous strategies they can utilize to accomplish their goals.

The COVID outbreak drew considerable attention to the cold chain industry, especially in the perishable food sector. Many people have developed or regained an interest in cooking for themselves and their families because the pandemic forced them to spend more time at home. So, the demand for chilled foods is not going away anytime soon. This demand puts pressure on people in charge of cold storage facilities to keep the prices low while maintaining product quality at a high level.

1. Keep the heat under control

The biggest problem for managers in a cold storage facility is the cold itself. It has an impact on staff, handheld barcode scanners, and computers. It also puts more strain on warehouse equipment, because it requires frequent repairs and higher maintenance expenses. Cold temperatures, on the other hand, must be managed and regularly maintained to guarantee that the goods inside are safe to consume or use. Workers must keep the heat under control so that it does not spread to low-temperature areas.

Insulated curtain walls can be used to split the warehouse into temperature zones. Depending on the thickness of the curtain wall insulation, you can create temperature zones in the warehouse ranging from -9 to 4°C.

2. Provide employees with protective clothing

Employees who are feeling cold will stay at the perimeter of a warmer region of a cold storage facility before entering a colder one. Staying only in cold areas can reduce overall efficiency and slow order picking.

Employees who keep doors open to keep warm will allow heat to enter cold storage facilities. The ideal practice is to ensure that all personnel wears protective clothing.

As an employer, you should supply coats, insulated pants, gloves, and other personal items to your cold storage facility personnel. Workers that are freezing at work, find it difficult to concentrate on their tasks. Ensure that all employees take frequent breaks to rest and warm up during the day.

3. Use automated solutions to reduce operational costs

  • Optimize the cube in the facility with an AS/RS system. Store items effectively to reduce space and energy waste.
  • Reduce heat loss: When high-density storage is used, it creates a smaller area to keep cool and reduce heat loss. This space needs a smaller roof to help you reduce heat and air loss. Temporary barriers can also be used to restrict warmer airflow in delivery and drop-off zones inside the facility.
  • Fully automated doors: An automated system uses an automatic door that allows pallets to pass through as needed. The door locks immediately afterwards.

4. Keep track of cold storage warehouse records

Keeping accurate records is a key element in managing a cold storage facility. The sensor in the facility automatically tracks temperature and if it rises over pre-set parameters, a sound warning will go on.

Modern technology allows your workers to scan pallets upon delivery. The items can be tracked by team members without scanning each SKU and carton. This option helps you save time and money while giving you accurate records.

These 4 practices can substantially reduce the food spoilage rate. Keeping perishable products at low temperatures inside cold storage facilities will slow down the rate of chemical changes in food and the growth of microorganisms.

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