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GCCA Reports 16.7% Cold Storage Capacity Rise in 51-Country Survey

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The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) has released its 2020 Global Cold Storage Capacity Report, detailing the expansive reach of frozen and refrigerated food distribution network worldwide.

“The 51 countries represented in this year’s report demonstrate the global reach of our trade association and importance of our industry research to cold storage companies around the world,” said Jason Troendle, director of market Intelligence and research. “The report also provides country-level data for 3PL cold storage capacity, private cold storage capacity, or both.”

In developing country markets, middle class and high-income consumer segments support temperature-controlled foods, which ultimately drive the refrigerated warehouse service industry.

The market development index is calculated as cold storage capacity per urban resident. Based on the assumption that the middle class tends to concentrate in urban and suburban areas, the overview of the report below uses urban population as a benchmark.

Overview of the Global Capacity Report

  • The total capacity of refrigerated warehouses worldwide was 719 million cubic meters in 2020, 16.7% greater than the capacity reported in 2018. A portion of this growth is due to reporting from countries not covered last year as well as improvements in data collection.
  • North America and China accounted for most of the increase in reported capacity since 2018.
  • The United States, at 156 million cubic meters, was the single largest country market, followed by India at 150 million cubic meters and China at 131 million cubic meters.
  • Canada, the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands all had average warehouse size of more than 100,000 cubic meters.
  • The top five GCCA global players in the market include Lineage Logistics, Americold Logistics, United States Cold Storage, AGRO Merchants Group, LLC and NewCold Advanced Cold Logistics.
  • Refrigerated warehouse space was distributed unevenly across countries based on the index of market penetration developed by the Global Cold Chain Alliance.
  • Mexico, Brazil and China have the largest unmet need for refrigerated warehouse space.
  • Worldwide, the average 2020 cold storage capacity per urban resident was 0.15 cubic meters, ranging from less than 0.1 cubic meters per resident to 0.9.

About the Global Cold Chain Alliance

Comprised of its Core Partners, including the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW), the World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO), the International Refrigerated Transportation Association (IRTA), and the Controlled Environment Building Association (CEBA), the Arlington, Virginia, USA-headquartered GCCA represents all major industries engaged in temperature-controlled logistics.