The cold chain is an incredibly important part of America’s food supply and operations. The safety and efficiency of the storage and transportation of your temperature-sensitive products is vital to the health of your business. Spoilage of your goods can be costly and can lead to major downtime, halting production and distribution to your customers. At Shoppa’s, we specialize in optimizing your cold storage application processes to keep your business moving.

Cold storage facilities are categorized based on their storage system (automated or traditional) and/or structure (with or without rack support). The most common factor that distinguishes these installations is the temperature setting.

  • Refrigerated: These warehouses keep a controlled temperature ranging from 32 to 50 °F and are predominantly utilized in sectors such as food (e.g., dairy products, cold cuts), pharmaceuticals, and healthcare.
  • Frozen: These cold rooms keep a temperature range of -22 to 32 °F and are widely employed in the frozen food industry.

What is a Cold Chain Solution? 

It is critical for cold storage operations to devise intralogistics solutions that keep their products at correct temperatures, while also ensuring that operating costs stay low.

A cold chain solution is designed to control temperature, thus preserving the quality of various perishable goods such as food, plants, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals, until they are ready to be received by the end user. These solutions require specialized knowledge of the industry, the ability to monitor processes both inside and outside of the facility, and to remain up to date with the newest and most innovative technological solutions available.

Improving Efficiency through Equipment Selection

There are several factors that can impact the performance of your forklift, such as the condensation in coolers and freezers, traction problems, operator clothing and most commonly, hydraulic fluid. Oils, lubricants, and fluids like hydraulic fluid need to be adapted to the cold as they can become “sluggish” in cold temperatures and affect the motor or other mechanical and electrical components. This can negatively affect the productivity of a forklift.

Toyota provides a customized cold storage equipment solution with options like an enclosed operator cab and heater to keep personnel warm for shifts, that may be for extended periods of time.

Additionally, our Certified Toyota Technicians can check the battery, hydraulics, electrical system, and engine of your forklift to ensure it is ready for your cold chain application. Shoppa’s also offers “cold storage conditioning” packages available on many models, matched to the needs of both the vehicle and the environment it will operate in.

Batteries in Cold Environments

When it comes to batteries in cold storage applications, lithium ion is the preferred solution for electric forklifts. Colder climates can negatively affect the capacity of regular lead acid batteries, ultimately reducing run time on your forklifts by up to 35%. However, lithium ion has proven to be resilient in low temperature conditions and require less maintenance. They don’t require watering and can be charged in between shifts to maintain battery health and peak productivity. This type of investment guarantees you get the maximum usage out of your shifts at a lower cost over time.

Storage Solutions and Automation   

It is no secret that cold storage and freezer applications regularly experience employee turnover. Because of this, cold storage operations are seeing a trend for automation solutions to keep production and storage maximized.

Additionally, having the correct layout is important when it comes to chilled warehouses and product storage, which is why our experts specialize in offering customized solutions to fit any operation. Options to be considered for cold storage are high-density storage options like the Pallet Shuttle and Stacker Crane that can effectively reduce the size of the cooling area and minimize heat loss. Whether you are looking to optimize or expand, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are great alternatives to take into consideration, as they can stay in these frigid temperatures at all times, aiding in labor shortage challenges. These technologies are highly flexible and future-friendly, with the ability to integrate with existing automation systems and grow as your business evolves.

Dock & Door Solutions 

Ensuring temperatures stay cold in your facility is a necessity to save money and keep your goods from being spoiled by unpredictable temperature fluctuations. Safety and operational efficiency are also paramount for climate-controlled facilities. There are various options for dock solutions that can pair with your insulated doors such as:


  • Vertical TELESCOPING-LIP™ Levelers: These dock levelers provide environmental and security pit seal protection, minimizing air infiltration and preventing the exchange of cold and warm air, as well as preventing condensation build up. This helps maintain a consistent temperature within the facility, preserving the quality and integrity of the stored products, and improved safety for employees. 
  • TLH Horizontal Storing Dock Levelers: An effective alternative to vertical storing dock levelers the TLH model stores horizontally, extending its lip straight into the trailer with only a slight raise of the deck, for quick loading cycles and improved climate and environmental control. Its TELESCOPING-LIPprovides safe and precise end load access, safely bridging the gap between deck and trailer bed for smooth forklift access. 
  • Dock shelters: Dock shelters facilitate efficient loading and unloading processes. They provide a covered and secure environment, enabling workers to move goods in and out of the trailer more easily and quickly. This helps optimize productivity, minimize exposure to external elements, and reduce the risk of damage to products.
  • Dock Blowers: Dock blowers help maintain a controlled environment by minimizing temperature fluctuations and preventing the infiltration of outside air. This is crucial for preserving the integrity and quality of stored goods, especially perishable items.

Floor Cleaning Solutions

Keeping your cold storage facility floors clean is important to mitigate the oils and fluids that may be a safety hazard. Operations such as food plants, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals are required to store materials in clean areas to avoid internal and external contamination. Additionally, having wet or icy floors can be a safety hazard to your personnel and operators. The PowerBoss Nautilus floor scrubber is the perfect fit for cleaning cold climate warehouses. The patented hot water system uses the engine’s catalytic converter to heat the cleaning solution, which eliminates the need for additional energy to heat it, reducing energy costs and your carbon footprint. 

Getting Started

No matter what size your business is, our portfolio of intralogistics solutions is guaranteed to help you streamline your operation and increase productivity. To learn more about how to achieve high performance in your low temperature environments, contact our equipment and intralogistics experts today.