Temperature-sensitive items transportation requires cold storage facility along their supply chain, demanding refrigerated and thermal packaging methods as cold chain infrastructure. The cold chains maintain the freshness and longevity of pharmaceuticals, perishables, and agricultural produce as indispensable. It requires an innovative revamp to overcome the infrastructure constraints enabling to mitigate of the risks of disruption in association with deliverables quality.

The emerging cold chain industry is at a fast pace, and this is due to the focus shift to better transportation and cold storage facilities. It facilitates items required in the supply chain network at a specific temperature. The cold chain is fledgling, and agricultural produce a huge amount stays exposed to tolerance. The market is fragmented highly and includes small and big players. However, India has witnessed positive changes and is keen to keep the shipment integrity intact.

Market Potential of Cold Chain

The cold chain industry market research shows growth in India between 2017-2022 at 17-18 %. The augment in cold storage facilities is due to the need to reduce wastage. The logistics of cold chain demand are from the pharmaceutical and retail industry, which is growing each day. The three main segments are the bio-pharmaceuticals, seafood, and meat, which give the cold chain industry the buoyant force to elevate in the coming years. They mainly cater to the export markets having organized players, preferring stringent quality regulations and requirements.

The facilities of cold storage are emerging in India. The efficiency of the supply chain has helped curb wastage. The increased focus on cold storage infrastructure offers a clear opportunity for organized development and is fragmented primarily. The forecast and the cold chain market potential are positive, showing steady growth at 14% CAGR in the coming three years, and are driven by the growth of pharmaceutical sales, online grocery, and e-commerce platforms.

Major Barriers

The industrial shift requires adequate cold storage and an integrated network of cold chain facilities. The product is not ready for the cold chain, and there are breaches across the cold chain integrating the movement. Large investments flow, and there is more concentration to develop new packhouses and transport capacity at all levels.

There is perishable produce of 104 million metric tons transportation each year between cities as per industry estimates in India. Nearly 100 million metric tons move in the non-reefer mode, and through reefer, only 4 million metric tons are in transportation. The lack of vehicles in small sizes and high operating costs from retailers to distributors’ shipments results in a higher temperature ambiance.

The other concerns are the awareness in labors that is low about handling products temperature-sensitive. The supply chain in India is fragmented and long, as products go through the source to the delivery point. Various challenges include:

  • Lack of vans to transport from plant or cold storage
  • Contamination before shipment at the port for customs verification
  • Lack of uninterrupted power supply plugs
  • Product loss during shipment of quality deterioration

Market Drivers

  • The consumer demand is increasing for perishable products 
  • Development in technology in refrigerated systems and equipment
  • International food trade expansion due to economic liberalization in India
  • Direct investments rising in emerging economies

Market Insights of cold storage

The cold storage in international trade for trade liberalization is the propelling factor. The retail food industry has contributed to globalization increase. Improvements in communication and transportation systems, trade liberalization, and multinational corporations’ expansion have increased global trade. It includes frozen and dairy products, vegetables and fruits, seafood, fish, meat, confectionery, and bakery items.

The tariffs and non-tariff items reduction are the obstacles, and it has augmented the perishable products advancement across borders. It is the global cold storage market's primary driver. 

Rising hygiene awareness is also shifting the patterns of consumption taking to ready-to-cook meals. The popularity the frozen food is due to the convenience of use in packing and microwave cooking assistance. The market benefits from strict regulations governing temperature-sensitive goods distribution and manufacture. 

Cold storage warehouse automation is increasing rapidly and will boost demand. Favorable socioeconomic and demographic factors, such as rising population, rising living standards, urbanization, and discretionary income, drive the market share of global cold storage.

Wrapping remarks

The growth of multipurpose cold storage is certain, and the forecast shows a great future ahead. There is the conjecture of large foreign and domestic companies joining in the coming years and will contribute to the cold chain's growing demand. 

The latest technologies and investments will witness major acquisitions and mergers from giant companies. There will be a strong base expanding their reach, and the pharma sector will drive demand with the infrastructure of a cold supply chain. It will inject more investment shortly by increasing the demand to provide a robust multipurpose cold storage supply chain.