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How do you transform from a conventional to a modern cold storage operation?

Many cold storage 3PL and food and beverage processors are reviewing the question, “how do we transform from a conventional to a modern cold storage operation?”. Modern cold storage ultimately should result in improved productivity and profitability. From our perspective, there are three key ways to shift to a modern cold storage approach.

(1) Redefine the value metric

The value metric for cold storage warehouses is based on the number of pallet positions per cubic feet. This is evidenced by the higher density requirement for storage which includes mobile racking systems and higher clear building heights. Mobile racking systems will help achieve maximum storage density and right-size the building footprint to deliver efficiencies in labor, equipment, real estate costs which will contribute to lower costs and higher margins.

(2) Align building design with business operations and customer requirements

Whether you are renovating an existing building with new equipment and technology or beginning a greenfield project, operators are aligning business objectives and customer demands with the building design in a stronger fashion. When operators meet with key internal and external stakeholders to define customer needs, business objectives, space and throughput requirements, logistics, and location and include this information into the design of the building this demonstrates a true build-to-suit facility.

(3) The success trifecta

Business Strategy and Objectives. Real Estate and Building Design. Capitalization.

Understand your business strategy for modernization - is it increased density, increased efficiency, reduced energy consumption, reduced labor costs, or better inventory management – some or all of the above? Strategy combined with a clear articulation of customer needs, services, and performance will ensure a strategic design prevails.

Real Estate and building design that reflects a comprehensive business and customer strategy will result in accelerated ROI and profitability.

Capitalization. Financing is challenging today. The rising cost of capital and the steep cost of construction are shining a stronger light on the alignment of strategy and building design to demonstrate profitability and secure financing.

The ability to right-size the real estate footprint with storage densification will help control costs throughout the operation of the facility. While also layering in the right technology and equipment to ensure increased efficiency and productivity will further drive a modern cold storage approach.

For more information on how FLEXSPACE can help you modernize your cold storage operations, please email us at

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