US Gross Refrigerated Storage Capacity Falls; Private Capacity Rises

Gross refrigerated storage capacity in the US totaled 3.70 billion cubic feet on Oct. 1, 2023, according to the Capacity of Refrigerated Warehouses 2023 Summary, which was released last week by USDA’s NASS.

That gross refrigerated storage capacity is down from 3.73 billion cubic feet on Oct. 1, 2021, but up from 3.65 billion cubic feet on Oct. 1, 2019, and 3.60 billion cubic feet on Oct. 2017, according to the report.

For this NASS report, questionnaires were mailed around the 23rd of September 2023, to operators of over 950 public and private cold storage warehouses. Some 900 firms met the qualifications that their warehouses were artificially cooled to a temperature of 50 degrees F or lower, normally stored food products for 30 days or more, and stored one of the 110 commodities reported in the monthly Cold Storage report.

The list included specialized storage facilities meeting the 30-day requirement, such as dairy manufacturing plants, fruit houses, frozen fruit, fruit juice, and vegetable processors, and poultry and meat packing plants.
Wholesalers, jobbers, packer branch houses, and frozen food processors whose entire inventories are turned over more than once a month were excluded.

Usable refrigerated storage capacity as of Oct. 1, 2023, totaled 2.99 billion cubic feet, or 81 percent of the gross space. Usable freezer space was 80 percent of the usable refrigerated space with the remaining 20 percent used as cooler space.

For this report, gross space is defined as the total area under refrigeration, measured from wall to wall and from floor to ceiling. Usable space is the actual area used for storing commodities; that is, gross space less an allowance for aisles, posts, coils, blowers, etc.

As of Oct. 1, 2023, the states with the largest gross warehouse capacity were: California, 369.8 million cubic feet, including 64.7 million cubic feet of gross cooler space and 305.1 million cubic feet of gross freezer space; Washington, 293.5 million cubic feet, including 13.6 million cubic feet of gross cooler space and 279.9 million cubic feet of gross freezer space; Wisconsin, 289.9 million cubic feet, including 126.8 million cubic feet of gross cooler space and 163.0 million cubic feet of gross freezer space; Texas, 262.0 million cubic feet, including 73.6 million cubic feet of gross cooler space and 188.5 million cubic feet of gross freezer space; and Florida, 236.2 million cubic feet, including 105.7 million cubic feet of gross cooler space and 130.5 million cubic feet of gross freezer space.

Public warehouse refrigerated storage capacity totaled 2.51 billion gross cubic feet, accounting for 68 percent of the storage. In 2021, public warehouse refrigerated capacity totaled 2.67 billion gross cubic feet and accounted for 72 percent of the total storage.

Public refrigerated storages are defined in this report as refrigerated facilities maintained for storing food for others at specified rates per unit.
Private and semi-private warehouse refrigerated capacity totaled 1.18 billion gross cubic feet in 2023, or 32 percent of the gross refrigerated space. In 2021, private and semi-private warehouse refrigerated capacity totaled 1.06 billion gross cubic feet and accounted for 28 percent of the gross space.

For this report, private and semi-private refrigerated storages are defined as refrigerated facilities maintained by an operator to facilitate his or her principal function as a producer, processor, or manufacturer of food products. The space is used to store the owner’s products, although some space may be used by others at specified rates per unit stored.

Refrigerated warehouse numbers totaled 900 in 2023, down ...

For more on this story, visit

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Another Interesting Year For Federal Orders by Dick Groves

OTHER NEWS:
US Cheese Production Reached A Record 14.1 Billion Pounds In 2023

OTHER NEWS:
US Restaurant Industry Sales Forecast To Reach $1.1 Trillion In 2024

GUEST COLUMNISTS: Delayed Relief for Processors by John Umhoefer, WCMA

COMPANY PROFILE:
Prairie Farms’ Investments Keep Luana Plant Producing Quality Products

PREVIOUS COLUMNS: US Sheep Cheeses Ever-Poised for Growth by John Umhoefer, WCMA

Employees: One of Your Best Risk Management Tools
by Jen Pino-Gallagher,
M3 Insurance

Fight Back Against the Raw Milk Fringe
by Rebekah Sweeney, WCMA

Extending Sustainability to Government by John Umhoefer, WCMA

Prioritizing Worker Safety Will Never Become Antiquated by Jen Pino Gallagher, M3 Insurance

Sustainability: The Producer's Prospective - Part 2, by Ty Rohloff, Compeer Financial

Sustainability In Dairy Processing: Part 1, A Changing Landscape, by Ty Rohloff, Compeer Financial

Is Your Business Continuity Plan Missing A Key Ingredient
by Jim Brunker, M3 Insurance

How To Demonstrate Food Safety Culture, by Brandis Wasvick, Blue Compass Compliance

Sharing Your Message: Communicating To Employees About The COVID-19 Vaccine, Jeff Christensen, Director of Communication
M3 Insurance

Cheese Makers, Cheese Marketers Discuss How To Manage the Pandemic by Dan Strongin

As FSMA Takes Full Effect, Partnership Opportunities Abound To Improve Food Safety Practices by Larry Bell and Jim Mueller

   Subscribe

What do you think about
this week's  Story?

Please include an e-mail address if you would like a reply.

Please tell us if you are a
Dairy product manufacturer
Dairy marketer/importer/exporter
Milk producer
Supplier to manufacturers
and marketers