Warehousing Needs of Frozen Food Distributors

Due to the increased consumption of frozen food products over the last few years, frozen food distributors have had to make increasingly informed decisions when weighing up their frozen storage options.

Many frozen food distributors turn to outsourced deep freeze warehouses, such as those operated by Partner Logistics, to take care of their storage and transportation requirements, so they can focus their attention on other areas of their business.

Some key factors that frozen food distributors look for are:

Reliability of storage conditions

The reliability of storage conditions is an essential criterion that has to be met to ensure that all food products are kept in excellent condition. In the Partner Logistics warehouses, from unloading to final distribution, the products are kept at a constant temperature and a rigorous set of systems and procedures are implemented throughout the warehouse to ensure this temperature is kept within strict tolerances at all times. Alternating compressors ensure there are no risks to refrigeration power and online monitoring also ensures that visibility of their performance and efficiency is maintained. 

Efficient and cost-effective storage

Efficiency is key when making sure that the right amount of product leaves the warehouse at the correct time, to meet consumer demands. All of the Partner Logistics warehouses in the UK and Europe are highly-automated which means that performance metrics are industry leading. For example, metrics such as order-picking and load performance run consistently at over 99.5%.  By using an automated warehouse that employs a smaller number of staff, costs are often lower, leading to a more cost-efficient solution for their customers.

Efficiency at coping with fluctuating demands

At peak times, such as the summer or Christmas period, there are much higher demands on frozen food warehouses to store and distribute a larger amount of products whilst still providing a quick and efficient service to meet consumer requirements. Due to their investment in automation, Partner Logistics are able to take on further demand with no disruption to their normal service. For example, in the hot summer of 2013, the Partner Logistics Gloucester warehouse (which stores a large variety of ice cream products) saw a 23% increase in its inbound pallets yet they were still able to meet all requirements and provide a highly efficient service for their customers.

An end-to-end supply chain solution

Eliminating as many steps as possible in the supply chain allows companies to optimise their performance and efficiency. Partner Logistics are an integrated service provider and thus work with a number of supply chain partners to provide a complete end-to-end solution, other than just frozen food storage. By partnering up in this way, Partner Logistics are able to support supply chain synergies, optimised vehicle fill and minimal empty mileage.

Sustainability

Sustainability is a top issue for many consumers, and distributors want to make sure that their supply chain is as green as possible. Many companies set sustainability targets and roll out a number of energy saving projects to reduce their carbon emissions as much as possible.

Partner Logistics have shown great commitment to energy conservation through not only designing and building their modern facilities with sustainability at the top of the agenda, but also actively creating practical solutions to improve carbon efficiency. The warehouses are typically 5 to 10 times larger than conventional cold store warehouses leading to a much higher ‘volume to surface area ratio’ which considerably reduces the energy consumption per pallet stored.

Energy-saving features include:

  • Specially designed foundations to prevent cold leakage.
  • Fully automated high bay requiring no lighting.
  • External cladding using thick insulated panels.
  • A thermal barrier between the low bay and the high bay.

Furthermore, because the Partner Logistics sites are situated in logistically optimised locations, they enable customers to store their products in one consolidated location which significantly reduces food miles and CO2 emissions in the supply chain.

European presence

The European frozen food market is growing significantly each year and therefore it is beneficial for some companies to store and transport their products from strategic locations to easily penetrate the European market.

With three super-sized warehouses in The Netherlands, one in Belgium and two in the UK, Partner Logistics have a strong presence and positive reputation across Europe. In fact, they are ranked 8th in the IARW top 25 global public refrigerated warehouses by capacity, coming in at 2.860.594 cubic metres.

For further information on the services we provide or to discuss your business requirements please contact us