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Logistics firm expands cold storage facility

THE logistics arm of The BE Group of Companies is expanding the capacity of its cold storage facility, aiming to support various industries, especially the food sector.

Benedict Benedicto of Berben Logistics Inc. said the company is increasing the capacity of its cold storage warehouse to 5,000 pallets from the current 3,500 by the middle of this year and doubling it by the end of 2024.

A pallet can hold up to one ton. A cold storage warehouse is a specialized storage facility equipped with temperature-controlled environments. Its primary function is to store temperature-sensitive products, often perishable goods like fresh produce, frozen foods and pharmaceutical products.

Benedicto said the company sees strong growth in the cold storage business amid the high demand from the food industry.

“We’ve seen increasing demand for cold storage since the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve also seen growing importation of raw materials for food manufacturiung,” he said.

According to the Philippine Cold Chain Industry Roadmap, food spending is “a main driver of cold storage” as food-related items account for 45 percent of consumer spending.

Berben Logistics Inc., which operates in Mandaue City, has both dry and cold storage facilities.

According to Colliers Philippines, the consumer demand for online shopping and same-day deliveries especially for perishable food items and other essential products raised the demand for warehouses and cold storage facilities at the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

“The cold storage sector will likely continue to thrive, and this should sustain demand for industrial and warehouse assets across the country,” said Joey Bondoc, the firm’s research director.

To meet the growing demand, Colliers encouraged industrial park developers to consider expanding their assets to include cold chain facilities. It also advised developers to explore refurbishing their existing warehouses with specialized cold storage features such as pre-installed chillers, increased floor load capacity and higher ceiling heights to capture demand from retailers, logistics firms and cloud kitchen operators.

In a report in 2022, the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines said the country’s cold chain industry is projected to continue growing at eight to 10 percent per annum over the next five years.

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