IARW global cold storage capacity report shows strong worldwide growth

India surpasses the United States in cold storage capacity; China is third.

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The International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW), a Core Partner of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), has released its 2014 Global Cold Storage Capacity Report.

The report shows that the total capacity of refrigerated warehouses was estimated at 552 million cubic meters worldwide in 2014, an increase of 92 million cubic meters (20%) over 2012.

“It’s really interesting to see India surpass the United States in total cold storage capacity with 131 million cubic meters of space, compared to 115 million cubic members for the United States,” stated Corey Rosenbusch, president and CEO, GCCA. “And as shown in the 2014 report, China is now the third largest with 76 million cubic meters of space.”

Written by Dr. Victoria Salin, a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University, the 42-page report includes analyses on growth trends in global capacity, market development indicators, and characteristics of refrigerated warehouses around the world.

The report features cold storage market data on 58 countries. During the last two years, approximately 17 million cubic meters of additional refrigerated warehouse capacity has been added to the IARW database from eight additional countries and nine more international cold storage companies which are now contributing data.

New countries covered in the 2014 report include Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, El Salvador, Afghanistan, Dominican Republic, and Oman.

Cold storage capacity has shown a growth rate above 5% per year during a sustained period of time in 17 countries. The long-term growth rates are highest in India, China, and Turkey.

Capacity in 13 countries grew faster than 10% annually since the financial crisis of 2008. Countries leading the growth rates since 2008 are Turkey, India, Peru, and China.

The survey found 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 approximately 10-12% 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.”

The 2014 IARW Global Cold Storage Capacity Report is available to IARW members as a benefit of membership and for a fee to nonmembers. To download this e-publication visit the GCCA Online Store.

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