Whether receiving rail car loads of ingredient foods, blast freezing fresh product or custom loading trucks for local deliveries, US Cold Storage has built a network of facilities with the latest equipment and technology to be able to provide cost effective storage and distribution coverage to its customers. Finding excellent solutions to meet the needs of the nation’s dynamic food industry is the Voorhees, N.J.-headquartered company’s paramount goal.
“When it comes to meeting the diverse needs of the refrigerated and frozen food industry, everything we do is customer-driven,” says Jerome Scherer, vice president of sales, marketing and government affairs for US Cold Storage. “In what has been a challenging time for many public refrigerated warehousing and logistics companies, USCS has maintained steady growth thanks to our commitment to superior customer service, technical expertise and our solid financial stability.”
Shielding America’s Food Source
US Cold Storage’s network of facilities serves its customer base with requirements ranging from primary storage to fully integrated third party logistic solutions. The company provides the proper storage and handling environment for all chill and frozen food products and has extensive ultra low temperature facilities especially designed for specialized ice cream storage.
US Cold Storage also offers a full range of value-added services to meet customer needs, such as quick freezing, storage of bulk commodities, retail and foodservice products, order selection, and distribution via its unique PDQ freight consolidation program. Through the consolidation of LTL (less than truck load) orders, US Cold Storage saves its customers millions of dollars annually with an average savings of 15 to 30 percent per shipment. The transportation services are especially beneficial to small- and medium-sized food companies. “Our focus is providing PRW refrigerated warehousing and logistics and we try to make sure we know our customers as well as we possibly can,” says Scherer. “We are constantly striving to find better ways to serve them.”
To meet significant customer demand, US Cold Storage is on a steady growth path investing heavily in new facilities and expansions. It recently built new facilities in Medley, Fla., Bethlehem, Pa., and Tulare, Calif., and expanded warehouses in Minooka, Ill., Fort Worth, Texas and Tracy, Calif. In the near future, expansions are slated for Bethlehem, Pa., along with new construction in Poinciana, Fla., Lake City, Fla., Wilmington Ill., Hazelton Pa, and Southern California. Over the next years the new construction will double U.S. Cold Storage’s cubic capacity to.
US Cold Storage is also installing a new proprietary CO2-based refrigeration system in all new facilities, designed to be more efficient and more environmentally safe than conventional systems. “When growth comes in response to industry trends and customer requests, then you know you are doing something right. We have seen a lot of demand for the US Cold Storage brand of warehousing and transportations services,” says Scherer. “Because we offer programs that use advanced warehouse technology, integrated transportation and logistics systems, Web-based customers’ access and highly trained warehouse and front office people, our customers have come to depend on US Cold Storage as an extension of their own business operations.”
US Cold Storage became a wholly owned subsidiary of United Kingdom and Hong Kong based Swire in 1982 so it also has a presence overseas. Swire was founded in the United Kingdom in 1816 and now has substantial investments in refrigerated warehousing, shipping, road transport, soft drink manufacturing, aviation, property and trading in the United States, Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom.
Outside the United States, Swire is the largest provider of refrigerated warehousing in Australia. Also, Swire Cold Storage recently expanded its ultra modern facility in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) and established a new cold storage facility in Sri Lanka operating as Finlay Cold Storage LTD. In addition to the public warehousing interests, the Swire Group also owns a number of dedicated facilities for use by subsidiary companies.
Another way US Cold Storage caters to customers is by implementing technology and operating systems when and where their customers need it. “We strongly believe in partnering,” says Scherer. “When our customers find they need a new technology, they need it now. We make it a priority to be there for them.” Case in point” the RFID Solution Center it established for a customer in Dallas to help it meet RFID supply chain mandates. The technology incorporates printers, label application, conveyors, readers, testing devices, links to warehouse management systems and a variety of middleware designed to support live customer requirements as well as test scenarios in RFID technology.
It was actually the anticipation of Y2K that motivated US Cold Storage to heavily invest in its IT infrastructure over the past eight years. “That is when we began to reinvent ourselves and really delved into the whole technology issue to encompass the Internet, Web-based and other technologies,” says Scherer. “Proprietary initiatives such as a completely integrated warehouse management system with RF bar code scanning, voice recognition command systems and our transportation management system linked with Internet-based eUSCOLD have given us an edge over the competition. As a result, US Cold Storage is widely viewed in the food industry as a leader in employing the very best in new technology.”
US Cold Storage’s custom warehouse management system (WMS) features Taskmaster, a computer directed functionality with event driven priorities. The Taskmaster system directs, tracks and monitors warehouse activity enabling labor efficiency evaluation and capturing other information to further improve productivity.
PDQ Logistics is a complete logistics program supported by USCS TMS, an advanced transportation system that enables efficient load building, analysis, optimization and distribution modeling. USCS transportation systems handle all aspects of outbound shipping for both LTL freight consolidation and full truckload movement.
With eUSCOLD Online Services US Cold Storage provides customers with 24-hour access to inventory details, shipment status, order placement and much more. “This service capability greatly streamlines the flow of information resulting in real-time visibility and excellent customer information services across the entire US Cold Storage cold chain,” says Scherer.
In addition, the US Cold Storage operating team, groomed by years of training, education and best practice, provides reliable ongoing support to thousands of customers nationwide with a wide variety of refrigerated warehouse, transportation and logistical services.
Aggressive Growth Path
US Cold Storage’s advanced warehouse technology, integrated systems and transportation logistics have helped it maintain an excellent reputation with customers and it was recently recognized by readers of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods Retailer with a Category Colonel award for logistics excellence.
With a focus on the evolving needs of the food industry, US Cold Storage has more plans over the next three to five years for additional expansion or new construction in the Northwest, Arizona, the Denver/Colorado area and Northern California. In 2008, the company is also making a major investment in solar power in California, using roof mounted solar cells to power its facilities. This is just one of many “green” initiatives that the company has implemented in an ongoing effort to avoid making an unwanted impact on the environment.
“US Cold Storage is a very stable, financially sound company that is dedicated to the refrigerated food industry,” says Scherer. “We have consistently invested time and money in the latest facilities, equipment and technology to provide highly reliable supply-chain solutions to the frozen and refrigerated food industry. We believe in providing our customers with the edge they need to succeed in today’s competitive business environment.”