The global cold chain logistics market size is expected to grow from USD 207 billion in 2020 to USD 496.5 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 15.7% from 2021 to 2027. The changing global economy and substantial increasing demand for temperature-controlled industries, especially fresh agricultural products, manufactured food, and medical vaccines, has made the cold chain more important in supply chain solutions. It helps in transporting perishable products and food items with assured freshness and palatability. The cold chain logistics include temperature-controlled warehouses for storage and cold insulated transport vehicles for product distribution. Cold chain logistics cause a valuable extension to product shelf life that gives the suppliers the facility to contact overseas markets and meet the massive local demand. Furthermore, the cold chain offers benefits, including the ability to optimize inventory accuracy, reduced cycle time, enhanced supply chain efficiency, cost-effective operations, and increased shelf life through the reduction in spoilage and contamination. The benefits offered by the solution have gained traction in supply chain industries and services.
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Food manufacturers, commissaries, cold storage warehouses, and distribution centers are operating to ensure the flow of fresh and frozen foods to supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores. Together with transport and logistics, the cold chain sector remains an essential service with multiple restrictions implemented by authorities amidst the global pandemic worldwide. The development of the COVID-19 vaccine at a massive level is expected to be one of the major factors that will drive the demand for cold chain logistics in the coming years. Higher demand for these products subsequently increases the need for effective transport without losing their freshness and palatability. Furthermore, the stringent regulations regarding the storage and shipment of the pharmaceutical product are anticipated to propel the demand for cold chain logistics.
Other factors contributing to the market’s growth include rising awareness regarding health, reducing food wastage, and increasing government investment to upgrade the refrigerated warehouses to prevent corruption in food and other heat liable products. However, the higher cost associated with cold chain systems is one of the major challenging factors. Cargo transportation traveling at a long distance within a specific temperature range requires a considerable investment.
COVID-19 Impact on the Global Cold Chain Logistics
The consumer goods and packaging industry is experiencing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic from every direction. The supply chains in the industry are being disrupted by outbreaks in key regions, and the demand for products has fallen due to uncertainty in the global economy and capital markets. Furthermore, the workforces were facing the risk of infection, and governments were beginning to enact restrictions on movement that added an unpredictable dimension to the crisis. The supply chain professionals of cold chain logistics faced the reality of something they had been aware of but rarely felt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Wholesalers of medicine were at substantial risk as India is the world’s foremost provider of generic prescription drugs. However, 70% of the raw materials required for treatment come from China. Coronavirus pandemic resulted in the movement limitations of workers, uncertainties in consumers’ demand, restricted food trade policies, closure of food production facilities, and financial pressures in the food supply chain. Therefore, several governments around the world facilitated the movement of workers and agri-food products.
Global Cold Chain Logistics Market Dynamics
Drivers: Growing international food trade due to the trade liberalization to drive the cold chain logistics market
The global trade of goods has rapidly increased in the last three decades. Food is no exception; today’s global food system has become highly complex and interconnected with over USD 1.1 trillion of agricultural trade. To a greater or lesser extent, every region in the world is dependent on trade to fulfill its overall food needs. The amount and type of food trade are changing and increasing every year. For instance, the global demand for seafood and dairy is driving swiftly. Approximately one-third of the world’s calories grown are abstracted to animal feed, and trade in feed was over USD 100 billion in 2015. Countries rely on each other to secure the adequate and varied food supply through the import and export of food products, and thus the international trade of food is growing. Free international trade encourages opportunities for more growth based on the Uruguay Round agreements and the establishment of WTO.
Restraints: The higher cost of cold chain system hinder the market growth
The challenges inherent to the cold chain transport of food and drugs are cost optimizations, risk management, compliance with regulations. In addition, there are technical and operational constraints specific to each organization. The most reliable solutions aren’t easily available despite the technological advances in cold chain technology because they’re too expensive. The investment for cold chain systems includes acquiring the land, building construction, obtaining permissions and licensing, arranging utilities like water, electricity, etc. Additionally, the manufacturer will have to invest a major startup capital in procuring the cooling machinery. In general, new and updated machinery guarantees superior performance and enduring sustainability.
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Opportunities: Rising consumer demand for perishable good provide growth opportunities to the market player
Cold chain logistics are principally used to transport fruits and vegetables, dairy products, ice creams and confectionery, meat, and marine products that are perishable. The growing consumer demand for perishable food products, convenience foods, and high consumption of non-seasonal fruits and vegetables are driving the market growth. The increased use of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables and the application of individual quick-freezing in other food products are two key factors presenting growth opportunities to various market players. Due to the growing demand for such food products, food manufacturers are investing heavily in setting up individual quick-freezing plants at different locations and capitalizing on the opportunity when there is a high demand for products during the off-seasons.
Scope of the Report
The study categorizes the cold chain logistics market based on product, application, and regions.
By Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- Mechanical & Cryogenic Refrigeration Systems
- Reefers (Reefer Vans & Trucks)
- Cold Chain Transport Monitoring Equipment
- Packaging Material
By Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- Food & Beverages
- Medical Goods
- Temperature-sensitive Chemicals
By Region Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
- South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
- Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
- The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)
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Reefers segment is projected to account for the largest market share by product type
Based on product type, the cold chain logistics market is further split into Mechanical & Cryogenic Refrigeration Systems, Reefers (Reefer Vans & Trucks), Chain Transport Monitoring Equipment, and Packaging Materials. Reefers (Reefer Vans & Trucks) segment generated the highest revenue of 37.1% in the global cold chain logistics market. Reefers are large fridges or refrigerated trailers carried by container ships to transport perishables and other temperature-sensitive goods such as ice cream, meat, or vegetables. Reefer containers can maintain cargo temperatures between -35°C and +35°C regardless of the external environmental conditions. Many reefers come with real-time monitoring and temperature controls via IoT sensors with active intervention in temperature deviations. Especially within the cold supply chain, Vessel Sharing Agreements have significantly reduced shipment time and costs for shippers, which has naturally impacted this industry positively and helped improve the growth of reefer containers in the cold supply chain. Furthermore, the segment is growing at the highest rate and is expected to register a CAGR of 16.40% in the forecast period due to the increasing consumption of frozen and fresh food across the globe. Moreover, the rise in demand for medication and vaccines that require cold storage to treat conditions including AIDS, Cancer, COPD, Diabetes, and Flu has also driven the demand for reefer shipments and logistics.
Asia Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period
Based on the regions, the global cold chain logistics market has been segmented across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. Globally, Asia Pacific is estimated to hold the highest CAGR of 16.6% in the global cold chain logistics market during the forecast period. The region includes the countries such as China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Rest of Asia-Pacific. The region’s growth is primarily due to strong economic growth in the domestic emerging countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India.
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In the Asia Pacific region, the cold chain logistics market is anticipated to grow fastest. Japan, China, and India are likely to drive the region’s Cold Chain Logistics market. They owned to higher demand for frozen food, processed food, and pharmaceuticals. Japan, holding the highest market share in the Asia Pacific market, is one of the largest healthcare and pharmaceutical hubs globally due to the aging population. Japan is also one of the major producers and importers of state-of-the-art medical facilities aided by active government initiatives to promote generic drugs. Thereby, the pharmaceutical sector is expected to drive the growth of the Asia-Pacific cold chain logistics trend.
Key Market Players
The cold chain logistics market is mildly concentrated in nature with few numbers global players operating in the market such as Americold Logistic LLC, Burris Logistics, Lineage Logistics Holding LLC, Kloosterboer, The Nichirei Corporation, NewCold, The United States Cold Storage, Inc., Hanson Logistics, Seafrigo Group, and Stockhabo. Every company follows its business strategy to attain the maximum market share.