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Running on Ice: New year, new me

Your latest info on all things in the cold chain world

The place for all things cold chain.

Hello, and welcome to the coolest community in freight! Here you’ll find the latest information on warehouse news, tech developments and all things reefer madness-related. I’m your new controller of the thermostat, Mary O’Connell. Thanks for having me!

All Thawed Out

Jim Allen/FreightWaves

British-based Drewry, a consultancy to the global maritime and shipping industry, has said trade in the seaborne, temperature-controlled cargo sector will be accelerating over the coming years.

Drewry predicts roughly 3% growth annually through 2026, assuming nothing else crazy happens with import volumes. For example, Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale handles the most perishables of any Florida seaport at more than 30 percent. Nationally, it ranks sixth for reefer exports and seventh for imports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture saw a 16 percent increase in fruit imports year over year at just this port alone. 

Like many other problems in the supply chain, the real issue can be traced to infrastructure. The port is growing substantially, and with more inbound volume on the horizon, it’s well overdue. Port Everglades has plans to make $3 billion worth of capital improvements over 20 years through a U.S. Department of Transportation grant. Nearly $20 million will be spent on modernizing several cargo docks and ensuring efficient operations. 

All over the country ports are improving their cold chain capabilities to improve efficiency and reduce overall waste.

Temperature Checks

Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Lineage Logistics, the world’s largest temperature-controlled logistics company, has raised over $700 million in equity.

The company is working to increase capacity in critical locations but also reduce waste and congestion in the global food supply chain. Currently, 30% of food produced for human consumption around the world is lost or wasted somewhere along the food chain, according to research from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. That same data shows that the world’s population will require an increase of 70% in food availability in the near future, so these types of investments couldn’t come at a better time. 

With part of the investment, Lineage Logistics is building two new, fully automated U.S. hubs in Southern California and the Northeast. It is also looking to increase the company’s solar capacity by over 50% in the coming year to speed up decarbonization efforts. 

We love to see some much-needed carbon offsets in the supply chain. Sidenote: Since the beginning of 2020, Lineage has raised $6.7 billion in funding — not bad for three years. For a company that was just a single warehouse in Seattle in 2008, it has made quite the icy splash.

And another one…

Karis Cold Storage has received approval for a new industrial facility in York County.

Technically, it’s in South Carolina, but the 277,785-square-foot facility will sit in the Greater Charlotte, North Carolina, area off interstate 77. The investment will come in at around $80 million and should be completed by the end of 2023.

Karis Cold doesn’t perform the actual logistics that come with a refrigerated warehouse. It will be more the building for those who are the logistics people. A literal cool landlord, if you will.

Food and Drugs

Pour one out for the fallen — food items that is. The new year brings a fresh start and with that the reminder that some of our favorites don’t get to do so. 

Burger King has removed the Ch’King sandwich, citing it’s too difficult for employees to assemble. Chili’s took away the chicken crispers in tempura batter. The restaurant chain has new chicken crispers, but let’s be honest — it’s not the same. Coca-Cola cut the Honest Tea brand in an effort to focus on its other brands like Gold Peak and Peace Tea.

Fear not, though. The owners of the Honest Tea Co. have created a new brand called Eat the Change. McDonald’s has claimed it’s done with the McRib sandwich, saying the seasonal item will not be returning. The fast food giant said that about the Szechuan sauce, but thanks to “Rick and Morty,” it came back for a while.
Last — but in no way least — the Choco Taco ice cream novelty saw the end of its 40-year run.

Here’s hoping 2023 can fill the void left by these memorable goods.

Cold chain lanes


Looking for the hotbeds of cold freight? Watch for the dark blue areas. FreightWaves SONAR’s Refrigerated Outbound Tender Volume Index in heat map form shows all the places that have high and low outbound volumes. For example, western Montana might not quite be the most ideal place to book reefer freight but might not be a bad idea for a new cold chain warehouse. Whereas, New York is not a bad state for reefer volumes. 

Is SONAR for you? Check it out with a demo!

Shelf life

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Chinese factories, restaurants adjust to life without zero-COVID

Job and wage growth showed signs of cooling

What open and closed dating mean on food labels

Wheat, soybean, corn prices expected to have choppy 2023

OK with the change in management? Shoot me an email with comments, questions or story ideas at [email protected]

See you on the internet.


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Mary O'Connell

Former pricing analyst, supply chain planner, and broker/dispatcher turned creator of the newsletter and podcast Check Call. Which gives insights into the world around 3PLs and Freight brokers. She will talk your ear off about anything and everything if you let her. Expertise in operations, LTL pricing and procurement, flatbed operations, dry van, tracking and tracing, reality tv shows and how to turn a stranger into your new best friend.