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1.1 Definition and scope of study

Cold storage falls within the scope of the cold logistics sector in the same way as refrigerated transport. This is the intermediate storage stage between the factory exit and the logistics platform, to avoid breaking the cold chain.

The cold store is a building that allows for storage of perishable foodstuffs by keeping them at a low temperature. The products concerned fall into two categories:

  • Food products (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and fruits and vegetables) ;
  • Pharmaceuticals .

Cold storage can be :

  • In positive cold (between 0°C and 15°C) ;
  • In negative cold (less than 0°C) ;
  • Multi-temperature (positive or negative cold and storage of dry products).

The French warehousing and storage market is growing. Very large warehouses are increasingly popular and preferred to meet the ever-increasing demand for e-commerce. However, if the cold storage market can build on the growth of online food trade With the rapid growth of the cold storage market, the players in the cold storage sector are facing several obstacles to expansion.

Firstly, the drop in consumption of animal products, then the decrease in frozen products and the growing appeal of fresh, but also local, products.

This segment is very marginal, but short circuits are becoming increasingly popular. Another challenge for the cold storage business, particularly energy-intensive s main focus is the management of its energy consumption costs.

1.2 A world market in very strong growth

The world market
The cold storage market has grown significantly in recent years, benefiting in particular from the strict regulations governing the production and supply of temperature-sensitive products. Analysts anticipate an increase of almost **.*% per year in the coming years.

Source: ****
Depending on the type of temperature, the market has been ...

1.3 Growth in the French market has accelerated over the last three years

It is possible to estimate the turnover generated by the veterinary services sector at *.* billion excluding VAT in **** . The growth of the sector accelerated sharply from **** as shown by the turnover index corresponding to the sector of activity.

Source: ****
Logistics real estate in France benefits from a positive dynamic and attracts ...


2.1 Overview of industry customers

The customers of the cold storage players can be segmented in this way:
Producers and importers of agri-food raw materials Manufacturers of fresh or frozen food products ; The restaurant sector ; Distributors ; Players in the pharmaceutical and medical industry .
The development of the cold storage market is strongly linked to the demand ...

2.2 Study of e-commerce in France

Source: ****
E-commerce in France has grown at a rapid pace, reaching **.* billion euros in ****. Although growth rates have slowed since ****, they are still in double digits.

Food expenditures are expected to follow the same trend

Source: ****
We observe that among the ** most visited e-commerce websites in France two of them (***) are ...

2.3 Dynamics and functioning of the frozen food sector

As the main customers of companies specialising in cold storage, the relative weights of the various circuits and players make it possible to estimate their importance for the companies present on this market.
BtC distribution of frozen products
The business to consumer segment corresponds to the distribution between a company and ...


3.1 Characteristics of companies in the sector

Key industry metrics France, ****
Source: ****

3.3 Intermediate costs and consumption

Source: ****
The observation of the structure of intermediate consumption expenditure of companies in the sector reveals two main expenditure items :
Electricity expenses ** million euros (***) Leasing statements ** million euros (***)
This high level of electricity expenditure is reflected in the composition of the COMPOSITE index (***) of variation in the total cost of refrigerated ...

3.4 Geographical distribution of production and number of players

Source: ****

Source: ****
The number of companies operating in the sector is increasing relative stability while the number of individuals employed in cold storage is increasing sluggish growth .
Source: ****
Observation of the distribution of employees by region shows a strong concentration in the Île-de-France and Hauts de France regions.

3.5 Companies in the sector and new disruptive players

Overview of companies in the cold storage sector France, ****
Source: ****
Among these companies, we can note the presence of the main pure players of cold logistics: STEF, Olano, Sofrilog... But also generalists who have integrated the cold storage activity such as XPO.

New disruptive players
From housing to urban transport, from ...


4.1 Cold storage services

There are three types of cold stores depending on the desired temperature:
Warehouses in positive cold The product can be stored at a temperature of between * and ** degrees Celsius and can be used to store different types of products with a short use-by date (***). Warehouses in negative cold which is below ...

4.2 Prices: From the purchase of mobile cold rooms to the construction of cold stores

The selling price of mobile cold rooms is mainly linked to * factors:
The volume Number of pallets The possible temperature range
Source: ****
Finally, according to STEF and Cryologistic, the investment cost of a new warehouse is around *** euros per cubic metre The amortization is carried out over a period of ** to ...

4.3 Automation could shake up the industry

Optimisation of shelving should increase the efficiency of cold stores
Traditional, static and dynamic shelving must cope with the rise of warehouse automation . Indeed, the latter are increasingly resorting to the digitalization in order to optimize the movement of employees for example. Mecalux explains that there are three levels of automation ...


5.1 Difficulties in finding labour and controlling costs within a strict regulatory framework

The cold storage industry is struggling to attract labour because of the harsh working conditions imposed on employees. [***]
Cold logistics represents a health and food safety issues and is therefore framed by the french and European regulations . For example, the european Regulation **/**** imposes on the actors of the cold chain the ...

5.2 Regulated production

The use of HFCs (***) for maintaining products at temperatures below room temperature is already regulated.
At the European level, Regulation ***/**** known as "F-Gas II", in force since * January ****, "significantly reduces and will reduce by **** the quantities of HFCs placed on the market". [***]
However, the French government has announced that as part ...


6.1 Segmentation

Transporters and general logistics operators :
XPO Logistics Rhenus Logistics ID Logistics Sofrilog
Transporters and cold logistics operators :
Olano Group Delanchy Nagel Group
The cold storage specialists :
Somatref Stef Iris Logistics Godfroy Newcold Logistisud
Collaborative platforms :

  • XPO Logistics
  • rhenus logistics
  • Sofrilog
  • Olano
  • Delanchy
  • Nagel Group
  • somatref
  • STEF
  • Iris Logistique
  • Godfroy
  • Newcold
  • Logisitisud
  • stockbooking
  • ID Logistics

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chargé d'études économiques, Xerfi

Hugo Schott

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Mathieu Luinaud

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Robin Charbonnier

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Pierre Doussau

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Arnaud Walter

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