July 28 2016 |Written By bluefish

Food Bev

With the current heat wave hitting parts of the central and eastern U.S., keeping cool has become a top priority. This is especially true for food and beverage handlers struggling to keep product at the appropriate temperatures. According to a report titled, “Global Refrigerated Warehousing Market 2016-2020,” released by Technavio, the global refrigerated warehousing market is expected to grow 14% until 2020. This report also touches on three key factors contributing to the industries growth, one of which is the need to reduce food waste. Due to fluctuating temperatures during transit and handling, tons of food is wasted each year and there is a greater need for strong cold chains. A trend that is growing in this industry to combat food waste is automation.

Automating a refrigerated or frozen warehouse optimizes order fulfillment, eliminating operational challenges often faced in a conventional warehouse. Automation can come in many forms however with an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) product can be rapidly retrieved from storage, eliminating multiple touches, resulting is less product damage. Additionally, just-in-time (JIT) order fulfillment can be applied to ensure food and beverages do not spoil as they sit on a loading dock waiting for a truck to arrive. With JIT order fulfillment, orders will be retrieved and or picked right as the truck arrives instead of sitting at the loading dock, giving you and your customer a piece of mind that products will stay fresh and cool. Not only does an AS/RS eliminate damaged or spoiled product, it reduces high employee turnover, increases productivity and offers environmental benefits.

Don’t take my word for it, Louise Hemstead, Organic Valley’s Chief Operating Officer explains how their high-density AS/RS has maximized their cold storage while continuing to be environmentally friendly stating, “This AS/RS allows this facility to have a smaller footprint than typical warehouses. We want to use as few land resources as possible. We also expect the system will enhance our inventory management and virtually eliminate product loss due to expiration dates.” On top of increasing the company’s storage density by 40%, the system reduced energy cost by 40% and utilized less space than building a conventional warehouse.

Keep the environment in mind like Organic Valley did and don’t let the heat of the summer spoil your bottom line. Consider the benefits of automating your refrigerated or frozen warehouse so next summer you can relax and enjoy the weather.

For a deeper look at how an AS/RS can benefit refrigerated and frozen warehouses, take a look at the blog I wrote titled, “The numbers behind automated refrigerated and frozen facilities.”

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