India Now No. 1 in Refrigerated Warehouse Space, Says IARW

India has reportedly surpassed the United States in total cold storage capacity. It now has almost 131 million cubic meters of space, compared to nearly 115 million cubic meters available in the United States, according to Corey Rosenbusch, president and chief executive officer of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA). China ranks No. 3 with 76 million cubic meters of space, he added.

Rosenbusch was citing statistics in the 2014 Global Cold Storage Capacity Report, which was recently issued by the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW), a member of the Alexandria, Virginia, USA-headquartered GCCA. The publication puts total capacity worldwide at 552 million cubic meters of space, up by 92 million since 2012.

Ranking fourth through tenth in capacity, respectively, are: Japan, 32.6 million cubic meters; Germany, with almost 24 million; Brazil, 16.050 million; the Netherlands, 16.025 million; Great Britain, 15 million; Iran, 14 million; Indonesia, 12.3 million.

Turkey, which has 6.8 million cubic meters of space nationwide, registered the greatest compound annual growth rate in capacity from 2008-14, at 68.11%. It was followed by India, 42.99%; Peru, 36.50%; China, 34.67%; and Great Britain, 31.21%.

The 42-page report, written by Dr. Victoria Salin, a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University, features cold storage market data on 58 countries, as well as market development indicators and characteristics of refrigerated warehouses around the world.

It should be pointed out that statistics from a number of countries with major export-oriented frozen and refrigerated fish and seafood sectors, such as Thailand, Norway and Russia, are not covered in analysis, which is based on a GCCA survey and information from the Euromonitor Passport database.

The report maintains that household income is the main driver of global growth in refrigerated warehousing. The increase in household purchasing power is accompanied by changes in preferences favoring large-scale shopping formats such as supermarkets and hypermarkets.

The market share of modern retail sales is 50% or greater in most of the large emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and Turkey) and is growing at a clip of approximately 10% to 12% per year. Those markets also have the most rapid expansion in refrigerated warehouse capacity.

“While retailing sectors are the direct business connections between temperature-controlled warehousing and consumers in any country, the status of the transportation system is an enabling condition for both retailing and distribution,” Salin said. “Market penetration of the refrigerated warehouse industry in the surveyed countries was found to be positively associated with the transportation quality index published by the World Economic Forum.”

IARW logoThe 2014 IARW Global Cold Storage Capacity Report is available to association members as a benefit of membership, and for a fee to non-members. The e-publication may be downloaded by visiting the GCCA Online Store.