IARW names 2013 Top 25 Largest Public Refrigerated Warehouses

IARW president and vice president of Global Cold Chain Alliance comments on the rankings.

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The International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) has released its annual IARW Global Top 25 List of the public refrigerated warehouses (PRWs) with the greatest capacity of warehouse space in the world. Accompanying the Global Top 25 is the IARW North American Top 25 List.

The Global Top 25 currently operates 3.33 billion cubic feet (94.26 million cubic meters), which is a 5.71 percent increase from 2012. The North American Top 25 currently operates 2.72 billion cubic feet (77.13 million cubic meters) – a 5.84 percent increase from 2012. Corey Rosenbusch, vice president at the Global Cold Chain Alliance and president of the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, said in a recent interview the numbers are positive news.

“I feel that the industry is incredibly strong, and we’re very happy to see it continue to grow in terms of capacity and well as revenue and profitability,” said Rosenbusch. “Growth is not creating an excess capacity in the market, it’s growing to meet demand. New space is coming onto the market outpacing private refrigerated warehouse growth.”

Rosenbusch said North American capacity was at 79.19 percent during the second half of 2012, down from 84.73 percent in the first half of 2012, but up from 77.9 percent during the same period in 2011. In summarizing activity in listed companies, Rosenbusch also noted a large amount of industry consolidation. For instance, U.S.-based Lineage Logistics manages almost 290 million cubic feet of refrigerated warehouse space in the United States, ranking in second place on both the North American and global lists. Lineage represents a combination of companies such as Castle & Cooke, Richmond Cold Storage, and Terminal Freezers, which which were ranked in Modern Materials Handling Magazine’s 2010 Top 20 North American Refrigerated Warehouses at 6th place, 13th place, and 20th place, respectively.

“The other thing that’s notable is the diversity of the North American list,” Rosenbusch said. “You find a nationwide footprint in a company like United States Cold Storage [5th place], a Pacific Northwest footprint for Columbia Colstor [11th place], to Burris Logistics, a fifth-generation family-operated business. It tells the story of the diversity and breadth of space occupied by some of our member companies.”

The combined space of IARW total membership, including the Global Top 25 and North American Top 25 members, accounts for 4.29 billion cubic feet (121.49 million cubic meters), which is a 6.45 percent increase in membership space since the list was last released in May 2012.

IARW has members in 65 countries around the world. The Global Top 25 list includes PRW companies with facilities in Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Poland, Sri Lanka, Sweden, United States, and Vietnam.



About the Author

Josh Bond, Contributing Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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The rise of e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment has caused distribution centers (DCs) to experience ever-growing numbers of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and more inventory turns, up to an average of nine in 2015.
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