This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the warehousing and storage of perishable goods under refrigeration. The establishments may also rent locker space for the storage of food products for individual households and provide incidental services for processing, preparing, or packaging such food for storage. Establishments primarily selling frozen foods for home freezers (freezer and locker meat provisioners) are classified in SIC 5421: Meat and Fish (Seafood) Markets, Including Freezer Provisioners.
Refrigerated Storage Facilities
Cold storage operators have historically acted as middlemen between manufacturers and grocery or convenience store retailers. They provide storage and distribution services for domestic and international clients. These operators have been able to meet the needs of their clients by offering, through the latest technology, an efficient and inexpensive way to store goods.
General refrigerated storage capacity in the United States totaled 3.21 billion gross cubic feet in 2005, an increase of 2 percent over 2003. New construction accounted for most of the increase, but a portion was due to extended survey coverage by the United States Department of Agriculture. The five states with the largest gross general warehouse capacity in 2005 were California, Florida, Washington, Wisconsin, and Texas, the same five that have led in gross general warehouse capacity since the 1990s. Public general warehouse capacity totaled 2.44 billion gross cubic feet in 2005, an increase of 3 percent since 2003 and 40 percent since 1995. Public general storage capacity accounted for 76 percent of the general storage, while private and semiprivate general warehouse capacity, which totaled 772 million gross cubic feet in 2005, accounted for 24 percent.
Companies that otherwise would have to operate large warehouses and spend considerable resources on computerized tracking systems are able to avail themselves of services from the cold storage operators. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, cold storage operators developed expertise through experimentation and the application of new technology that food manufacturers were anxious to use. As the production of this expertise became costly and time-consuming for food manufacturers, they elected to outsource their food storage needs to refrigerated storage experts. Demand for frozen foods...