Cold chain logistics companies handle temperature-controlled and temperature-sensitives goods. The logistics include all or part of the supply chain, including procurement, storage, transport, and distribution. Refrigerated goods include foods, beverages, and bio-pharmaceutical products, among other items.
The Global Cold Chain Alliance (“GCCA”), an industry association, defines the “cold chain” as referring to the temperature management of perishable products in order to maintain quality and safety from the point of slaughter or harvest through the distribution chain to the final consumer. Each of the core partner associations that are part of GCCA were founded years ago – the IARW (International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses in 1891, the IRTA (International Refrigerated Transportation Association) in 1994, and the CEBA (Controlled Environment Building Association) in 1978. In 2007, these organizations came together under the united umbrella organization, the Global Cold Chain Alliance.
The storage facilities involved are a specialized type of industrial building that provide the proper interior climate control, pallet storage area, and loading bays for easy load-in and load-out of goods. These buildings used by cold chain logistics companies are a longstanding real estate class that is getting increasing attention from investors. The specialized building required costs about twice what a warehouse space takes to develop. A cold storage or freezer facility costs in the range of $130 to $180 per SF to develop, while a traditional warehouse space costs $70 to $90 per SF.