Harnessing the Transformative Power of Cold Chain Logistics with SSI Schaefer

With changes in global temperatures and the growing demand for cold-chain storage worldwide, SSI Schaefer, a worldwide leader in intralogistics and automated warehouses, is providing best practices and important considerations for logistics and operations managers to optimize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of cold storage warehouses. To learn more about SSI Schaefer’s tailored solutions for upcoming facility projects, please contact their experts at [email protected].

The automated storage & retrieval system SSI Exyz is able to access pallets stored on a rack system and reach the upper levels of a high-bay storage facility. Managers of cold storage warehouses, especially in the food and beverage industries but also in pharmaceutical distribution, are facing the challenge of storing, picking, retrieving, packing, and shipping perishable and sensitive goods that require special handling, monitoring, and precise environmental conditions.

Additionally, they are confronted with the expanding cold-chain storage market, which is projected to have a compound annual growth rate of 9% from 2023 to 2028. This means that warehouse managers must find a balance between the increasing demand for cold-stored goods and the need to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.

“Refrigerated supply chains are facing the challenge of doing more with less,” says Carsten Spiegelberg, Managing Director – Middle East & Africa, SSI Schaefer. “To address the complexities of the industry, a quick fix is not enough. Companies need material flow experts with industry expertise who can consider all aspects of a facility and seamlessly integrate cold-chain logistics solutions with individual processes.”

Solutions for cold chain storage

The first step in optimizing temperature-controlled infrastructure is careful planning. To enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of cold storage warehouses, several factors need to be considered from the beginning.

Storage Density Improvement

Improving air circulation and storage density of products.

Cold storage warehouses require different temperatures for storing various products. Temperatures can range from -34°C to 0°C, and sometimes even reach 21°C. However, there is often a trade-off between storage density and air flow. It is crucial to select the right storage system that improves air circulation while maximizing storage density within the available space.

Optimizing Cold Storage Space

Semi-automated solutions for optimizing cold storage space.

For deep-freeze facilities in the manufacturing sector that require bulk storage, semi-automated drive-in racking systems are a viable option. These systems offer high throughput, enhanced safety, and reduced time for workers in refrigerated facilities.

They follow either the Last in-First Out (LIFO) or the First in-Last Out (FIFO) principle, and utilize channel vehicles like SSI Orbiter® and a corresponding docking station for storing and retrieving pallets.

Compared to static, manual pallet rack systems, mobile racking storage systems can increase storage capacity by up to 85% while maintaining full selectivity typically needed in distribution centers. These systems involve racks that move along floor rails using electric motors, creating aisles only where necessary.

They also offer smart lighting that activates only in occupied aisles to reduce energy consumption, as well as a night parking option that optimizes rack spacing for maximum cold air circulation.

Future Automation Systems

Future-ready automation systems for a seamless, cost-optimized cold chain

Due to the strict timetables and closed cold chain requirements for cold goods, storage systems must efficiently handle incoming goods and adapt to expected and unexpected increases in demand. The best way to manage the complexities of cold-chain material flows is through a fully automated storage system that seamlessly integrates various components, such as:


Automated storage & retrieval systems (ASRSs) like the SSI Exyz are high-density storage systems that maximize space utilization, particularly in high-bay warehouses. They save 25% of energy compared to conventional machines and operate across different temperatures.

Shuttle Solutions

The SSI Lift & Run Shuttle System (SLR) is a future-proof, fully automated channel storage option that provides simultaneous access to multiple racks, ensuring top-tier performance and high storage density.

Other Storage Types

Shuttle solutions for layer trays and conveying systems enable fully automated robotic picking or support efficient semi-automatic goods-to-person picking for high-volume picking of goods such as comestibles for shop deliveries. Storage solutions for container, bin, and carton loads using SSI Miniload, Flexi Shuttle, or Cuby maximize storage density while accommodating specific load and performance requirements for automatic or semi-automatic case and piece picking.

Platforms for Centralized Control of Refrigerated Facilities

While there are various warehouse automation technologies available for tracking material flows, the coordination of multiple systems can be challenging, especially in refrigerated facilities. Centralized monitoring and control are essential to tie all aspects of a cold storage warehouse together. End-to-end software solutions like WAMAS® or SAP EWM (Extended Warehouse Management) provide clear visualizations and comprehensive tools to manage processes, resources, and stock levels. Review the press release link.

Company Profile SSI Schaefer Group

The SSI Schaefer Group is a leading global provider of solutions for intralogistics. With innovative technologies and software, the company empowers businesses of all sizes to increase the efficiency and sustainability of their storage, picking, and transport processes. They offer complete solutions ranging from fully automated warehouses with tailored service and maintenance packages to robotics and automated guided vehicles, as well as manual and s mi-automatic systems such as workstations, racks, and containers.

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Alan Gray is a business writer and a graphics hacker who loves to craft interesting stories and pair them with descriptive images that he creates on his Mac. He used to be a Windows freak, but after Vista destroyed his enjoyment by crashing 2-3 times per day, he decided that it was time for a change. He says he never wants to go back.