Most supply chain businesses have to move and store products that need to be fresh and free of contamination and spoilage. If you have a business like this, you know how important cold storage warehouses are for the supply chain industry.
Cold storage warehouses offer the required climate for the quality of your goods—that they remain safe for consumption and fulfill the regulatory standards specified by the regulator. The good news is that you always have control over this climate.
But what are some of the core cold storage warehouse needs, and how do you go about establishing one?
Stick with us–in this blog post, we’ll go over all of the critical parameters for cold storage warehouses, such as temperature control, adequate space, adequate lighting, and safety laws.
How to Assess Cold Storage Warehouse Requirements?
Assessing cold storage requirements is the first step. It is very important for determining the size, design, and capacity of your warehouse.
Here, we will take a look at different factors that may affect the size and capacity of a cold storage warehouse.
Types of the Products
To start off, identify the types of products you will store and their storage requirements. Different items have different temperature and humidity requirements, which will affect the size and design of your warehouse. Would you store frozen food or fresh fruit?
There are many products that require cold storage. Some examples include:
- Foods–fresh fruit, meat, dairy products, etc.
- Nutritional supplements
- Botanicals–flowers and plants
- Bio-pharmaceuticals–medicines, vaccines, blood samples, and certain dental materials
- Craft goods–candles, for instance.
- Some types of chemicals
- Specialized products
The type of items you store affects the temperature range—frozen foods require temperatures below -18°C, while fresh produce may require temperatures only between 0°C to 5°C.
Next, we will assess the storage capacity. After identifying your product types and their storage requirements, you can easily determine the required storage capacity for the products. To do so, you’ll need to have a good idea of the size of your products and the time required for storing them. Suppose you want to store 20,000 kg of frozen chicken for five months. Consider its size and the space needed for storage. Similarly, if it is more or less, the requirements would accordingly vary.
Storage density is the volume of the products that can be stored in a designated area. Your warehouse’s size and the type of cold storage racking and shelving you use directly influence storage density. In order to correctly determine the required floor area and height of your warehouse, this execution is very important.
The volume of merchandise that enters and leaves your warehouse in a specific time frame is known as throughput. You must account for both the length of storage and the frequency of deliveries when calculating throughput. You may use this information to calculate the size of your warehouse and the layout that will best support your throughput.
These steps can help you determine your exact cold storage needs and create a warehouse layout that works for you. Planning ahead and making accurate calculations will help you stay on budget, keep your products safe and compliant with regulations, and prevent costly errors.
Cold Storage Warehouse Requirements.
After assessing the requirements, it is time to dig deeper into the process. Since we are talking about cold storage, temperature control will be our first pick!
Temperature control is, it goes without saying, one of the most critical requirements for a cold storage warehouse. Proper temperature control means that your products remain fresh, safe, and in compliance with regulatory standards.
Here are some basic things to consider for temperature control:
The temperature range required will be determined by the products being stored. Ascertain that your warehouse can regularly maintain the specified temperature range. Track the temperature via temperature sensors and monitoring systems to ensure it stays within the specified range.
Note that for different products, the temperature can be different.
Maintaining temperature control in your cold storage warehouse requires proper insulation. Insulation serves to reduce heat transmission and maintain a steady temperature. Polystyrene, polyurethane, and fiberglass are examples of insulation materials. Make sure your warehouse has enough insulation to keep the correct temperature range.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system in your warehouse is crucial for temperature management. The HVAC system should be able to continuously maintain the specified temperature range. It should also have redundancy systems in place in the event of a system failure or downtime for maintenance.
To maintain temperature and prevent hot or cold zones in your warehouse, you need enough airflow. Make sure the airflow system in your warehouse distributes air evenly across the space. Use ducting, fans, and vents to do this.
You can ensure that the ideal temperature range is consistently maintained in your cold storage warehouse by paying close attention to these important elements. Maintaining proper temperature control is important for keeping your goods safe, hygienic, and compliant with legal standards. By keeping things at the right temperature, you may avoid costly product spoilage and preserve your standing as a trusted supplier of high-quality goods.
Size and Space Requirements for Cold Storage Warehouse.
The size and space requirements of a cold storage warehouse are important factors that must be considered during the design process. Here are some equally important factors to consider when determining the size and space requirements of your cold storage warehouse:
You can determine the storage capacity once you have identified your product categories and their needs for storage. Aspects to consider include the number of your products, the amount of time they are stored, and the frequency of your deliveries and pick-ups. These points must be taken into consideration provided you want to create enough room to keep your goods and move them effectively between the warehouse and outside.
Racking and Shelving
Racking and shelving directly impact the space needs of your warehouse. Heavy-duty storage systems can help maximize your storage capacity while reducing the floor space that may be required. Try changing the weight and size of your products when selecting your racking and shelving systems.
Aisles and Walkways
Coming to aisles and walkways now–they can be narrow and wide, depending upon your specific requirements. A rule of thumb is to have enough room for lanes and pathways to allow the safe and effective flow of both goods and your staff. The dimensions of your aisles will be determined by the nature and size of your products and the kind of machinery you employ, such as forklifts.
You can keep the walkways narrow if the products are not heavy and bulky; otherwise, they have to be wide enough to make room for the easy navigation of your products and machinery.
Loading and Unloading
Consider the space requirements for loading and unloading products into and out of your warehouse. You’ll need to account for truck space and maneuverability, as well as the space required for pallet jacks or forklifts. The space can always be optimized. Not sure how to do that? Read our detailed guide on how to utilize space in your warehouse.
By considering these factors, you can determine the size and space requirements of your cold storage warehouse accurately. Proper planning and calculations can help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your warehouse meets your needs for efficient and safe storage and handling of products.
Lighting Requirements for Cold Storage Warehouses.
Proper lighting is critical for any warehouse, including a cold storage facility. Adequate lighting helps to improve safety, increase visibility, and promote productivity. Here are some critical factors to consider when determining the lighting requirements for your cold storage warehouse:
Type of Lighting
Your cold storage warehouse’s lighting choices can have an impact on how much energy is used, how much maintenance is necessary, and how well your products turn out. As LED lighting uses less energy and produces less heat than conventional lighting, it is a great choice for cold storage facilities. It can resist the warehouse’s chilly temperatures and has a longer lifespan.
The lighting levels required for your warehouse will depend on the type of products you store and the tasks performed within the space. For example, if your warehouse involves order picking, you’ll need higher lighting levels to ensure workers can see the products and labels clearly. Ensure that your lighting levels meet regulatory requirements and help prevent accidents and injuries.
Proper lighting placement is crucial for ensuring that your warehouse has adequate illumination. Consider the height of your warehouse, the location of storage racks and shelving, and the positions of any workstations when placing lighting fixtures.
Using lighting controls, such as motion sensors, timers, and dimmers can help reduce energy consumption while enhancing lighting efficiency simultaneously. You may use motion sensors to turn off lights automatically when no one is in the warehouse, reducing energy costs.
Proper maintenance of your lighting system is essential for ensuring that your warehouse remains well-illuminated and safe. Regularly inspect and clean lighting fixtures, replace burnt-out bulbs promptly, and perform routine maintenance to ensure that your lighting system is working correctly.
By considering these factors, you can ensure that your cold storage warehouse has proper lighting that meets regulatory requirements, promotes safety, and enhances productivity. Proper lighting can also help reduce energy costs and extend the lifespan of your lighting system.
Cold Storage Warehouse Safety Requirements.
A cold storage facility is no different from any other warehouse when it comes to safety concerns. The health and safety of employees might be seriously endangered by the severe temperatures in a cold storage warehouse.
Below, we have listed some important safety requirements to consider while setting up a cold storage facility:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
This is especially important. Those who actually work on the ground in your warehouses must wear proper gloves, caps, and boots to protect themselves from the chilling cold. By wearing such PPEs, they not only comply with the recommended safety guidelines but are also protected from cold temperatures and are less likely to suffer frostbite.
Develop and implement emergency procedures specific to your cold storage facility. Ensure that your staff is trained on emergency procedures, such as what to do in the event of a power outage, fire, or other emergencies.
Hazardous Material Handling
Sometimes, items intended for storage in a cold storage warehouse, such as chemicals or compressed gases, are hazardous. To prevent accidents and injuries, you need to train your staff on handling and storage of hazardous chemicals.
Floor and Rack Safety
Verify that the storage racks and warehouse floor are in good condition. Keep an eye out for dangers, including ice, trash, and broken flooring. Slips stumbles, and even falls can be avoided with proper maintenance.
Forklifts, pallet jacks, and other handling equipment are necessary for cold storage facilities. To prevent accidents and injuries, make sure employees are instructed on how to use the equipment properly and that it is kept in excellent working order.
You can make sure that your cold storage facility is a safe and healthy location for employees to go about their daily business by adhering to certain safety regulations. Moreover, appropriate safety measures can lower liability, boost output, and plays a role in preventing accidents.
The Importance of Meeting Cold Storage Warehouse Requirements.
This is simple–you have to meet the requirements not solely because it is required by the law, but it is also necessary for your products and staff.
Let’s get into detail about what makes meeting the cold storage warehouse requirements an important aspect to consider.
First of all, it is required by the regulator(s). Monitoring agencies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have specific requirements for cold storage facilities. Some of these agencies have a global scope–but even if not, the country of your residence will have specific requirements that you must meet if you want to set up a cold storage warehouse.
Meeting these requirements helps ensure compliance with regulations and can prevent costly fines and penalties.
In order to preserve the quality and integrity of items, it is essential to maintain correct temperatures and humidity levels in a cold storage warehouse. When temperature standards are not met, products may spoil, be damaged, or become contaminated. As a result, your company may suffer financial losses and reputational harm.
Cold storage facilities pose unique risks to worker safety, such as exposure to extreme temperatures, hazardous materials, and equipment-related accidents. Complying with safety requirements helps make sure that workers are protected from all sorts of dangers and reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.
An effective cold storage facility can lower energy costs and usage quite significantly. If energy efficiency requirements are followed properly, you can end up saving a lot of money.
Failure to comply with cold storage warehouse requirements can result in business disruptions, such as product recalls, regulatory fines, and legal liabilities. Meeting these requirements helps ensure the smooth operation of your business and reduces the risk of disruptions that can impact your bottom line.
Cold Storage Warehouse Requirements: Conclusion
Setting up a cold storage house requires robust planning and solid execution. In various sectors, especially the food and pharmaceutical industries, a cold storage warehouse is an essential component of your overall business. From keeping the temperature maintained at a certain level to designated land to lighting and safety, these all are the cold storage warehouse requirements.