Best Practices for Managing a Cold Storage Warehouse

June 7, 2022

Cold storage warehouses experience many problems from constant exposure to cold temperatures. This is uncomfortable for the employees who work there and can cause rashes and other medical issues, but it can also wreak havoc on the equipment and systems inside.

But beyond discomfort and damage to machinery, the essential thing about cold storage warehouses is that they keep temperature-sensitive products safe.

Follow the best practices below to help a cold storage warehouse and keep your products safe (and your workers comfortable). Let’s discuss some of the basic cold storage warehouse requirements.

1. Adopt automation

Cold storage, or refrigerated warehouse space, is more expensive than other options. Energy, land, and labour costs continue to rise; cold storage users are looking for ways to control these costs. Dense pallet racking systems and pallet shuttles can help make optimal use of vertical space in a cold storage facility. Using high-density pallet racking and AGVs, along with automated depalletisers and palletisers, it’s possible to optimize vertical space in cold storage units. This can save money while also reducing the need for many warehouse employees.

2. Optimum temperature maintenance

Cold storage warehouses store many different products, each with its temperature requirements. For example, vegetables need to be stored at temperatures below 12°C, while ice cream must be kept at –23°C. The difficulty of keeping all these items in the same cold storage can be dealt with by creating a barrier between the respective temperature zones. If a warehouse needs multiple temperature zones or store product types change periodically, one option is to install modular insulated curtain walls. These can be set up in and moved from one building to another as required.

3. Minimise heat loss

In a cold storage unit, there are different temperature zones. It is essential to ensure that heat loss does not occur in any part of the warehouse so that no high-temperature areas are next to lower-temperature zones. When new products enter the storage area, it’s also necessary to reconfigure the warehouse. High-speed or rapid doors allow unhindered access to people and vehicles to all site areas while still maintaining proper temperatures.

4. Use appropriate equipment

To perform their functions, the following tools, machines, and cold storage warehouse equipment are used in a cold storage warehouse: barcode scanners, computers, sensors, forklifts, and pallet jacks. To operate these devices in low temperatures, they should be designed or modified accordingly. For example, touchscreens become hard to work with when gloves are worn. Touchscreens increase their sensitivity to being responsive enough for use with gloves on. Scanning devices have large buttons that can be felt through gloves, and electric forklifts are designed with seals to withstand condensation resulting from temperature changes.

5. Ensuring employee’s safety

Providing personal equipment for employees at cold storage facilities is necessary to ensure their safety and the smooth functioning of the cold storage unit. Insulated coats, pants, gloves, and other gear help keep workers warm in cold storage warehouses. Also, training employees for their safety is a must at every step. For example, opening doors to let in warmer air may compromise temperature protocols and cause refrigerated air to be lost from the facility. Therefore, it is best to train workers well and ensure they have access to all of the appropriate equipment they need for a cold storage zone.

6. Manage energy demand

When it comes to energy efficiency, cold storage presents a unique challenge. Not only does cold storage require energy to heat or cool the environment—and often both—but high temperatures can also severely damage perishable goods. The trick is keeping the temperature just right while minimising energy consumption. You must employ innovative control techniques that work with sensors that can monitor temperature, humidity, and other factors.

7. Keeping proper record

Keeping an accurate description of the details of cold storage warehouse temperatures is an essential practice because temperature fluctuations can cause problems for perishable goods. Temperature sensors help in this process by automatically recording the temperature and triggering alarms if a problem arises. RFID tracking allows information about products to be linked with their cartons at the load unit level without scanning every carton, which makes it easier to maintain records.

8. Maintain a contingency plan

Even with the best technology, you should work closely with your transportation partners to devise contingency plans. These plans must detail how you respond if something unexpected happens to your shipment. It is also essential to cultivate a strong partnership with your cold storage people. If a truck breaks down or a refrigeration unit stops working, everyone involved must be ready to respond immediately.


Implementing such practices might not yield instant results, but it can pay off substantially over time when even a minor improvement is consistently applied. Also, if you are looking for a manufacturer for warehouse equipment in Australia, you may contact Speedrack.