UK: Cold chain professionals say energy management technologies will have the greatest influence over temperature-controlled logistics in the coming decade.
The recently published Cold Chain Report 2023 from the UK’s Cold Chain Federation shows that the cost of energy and other fuels is seen as the top current challenge for cold chain businesses.
From the survey of over 100 individuals from across the cold chain, 40% of respondents ranked the investment in new, low carbon equipment as the most important action. Improving efficiency of existing equipment and reducing or eliminating the use of high GWP refrigerants were placed second and third in importance with 21% of respondents.
“The strong view among cold chain leaders that energy management technologies will have the greatest influence over the cold chain over the coming decade reflects not only the expectation that energy costs will remain high, but also the need to move towards net zero cold chain operations,” commented Cold Chain Federation executive director Tom Southall. “Whether it be electrification of refrigerated vehicles, harnessing the power of renewables or thinking differently about energy storage and reusing the heat from our warehouses, the opportunities to save costs while meeting customer requirements and increasingly stringent regulations, are becoming the imperative.”
Operators are responding. Amongst the Cold Chain Federation’s 278 members, 25% of UK cold storage sites are now fitted with renewable energy technology.
As well as detailing the findings of the survey, the Cold Chain Report also includes the federation’s analysis of the industry’s latest key facts and figures, including both cold storage and temperature-controlled distribution.
The report reflects a shift away from ammonia to CO2 in newer cold stores. According to the Cold Chain Federation’s figures, the use of HFCs, ammonia and CO2 is evenly split across the sector.
The full Cold Chain Report 2023 can be read and downloaded here.