Refrigerated cargo is a growing industry currently in the midst of a global expansion. With a rising need to ship and store perishable products in cold storage, ports are finding themselves desperate for warehouse upgrades both near the ships and further inland. As Frank Camp, sales and marketing director for non-containerized sales at the Jacksonville Port Authority explains, “Conventional breakbulk ports are typically designed to allow vessels to berth adjacent or near the refrigerated warehouse, unlike container ports where the cold storage facilities are usually outside the immediate port area or sometimes even further . . . In order for container ports to invest in cranes and other equipment and for facilities to cater to reefer shipments, there must be a return on investment.” Global infrastructure developments represent a growing need for dependable, assessable, and affordable cold storage facilities for businesses both large and small. Central Florida finds itself at the heart of this continually expanding global cold chain.
The need for cold storage aligns with Florida’s status as one of America’s largest agricultural markets exporting over $4 billion in agricultural products. Naturally, these products include citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, but also include a wide range of other vegetables and field crops as well as livestock ranging from cattle to chickens to pigs. The Florida Chamber Foundation published a report in 2013 urging U.S. companies to make Florida a globally oriented center for exports. Essential to this plan is facilitating warehouse and distribution solutions. Shipping this variety and volume of products requires careful planning and a reliable network of cold storage facilities.
Navigating these numerous Florida based warehouses can prove a headache for businesses. Commercial Warehousing offers over 13 million cubic feet of cold storage for perishable agricultural products in the Auburndale, Winter Haven, and Bartow areas to accommodate the demanding requirements of Florida’s agricultural exports.