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Cool Cargoes October 2015

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COOL CARGOES THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 9 for some of these companies to have 30 to 60 clients in one facility," Rosenbusch said. "So, automation may not work in every single application. It really has to be carefully designed for a customer that has a long-term outlook or a long-term need." Sti l l, t he st ate of t he cold stor- age industry is decidedly robust. One clear example is on display in Lynden, Washington, where New Jersey-based Preferred Freezer Services has built what are purportedly North America's largest refrigerated warehouse and the largest automated freezer in the world. That size was possible, speculation goes, because of a lucrative long-term contract with ConAgra Foods. For its part, Preferred Freezer simply says it intends to serve the Pacifi c Northwest's huge agricul- tural and seafood industries. The facility opened in September and marks the second facility Preferred Freezer has opened in Washington and the 35th in the U.S. Notwithstanding Preferred Freezer's $115 million investment in Lynden, over- all growth in U.S. cold storage capacity increased by an annual average rate of 9.3 percent since 2008, industrial real estate fi rm Cushman & Wakefi eld said. While some of this growth is attribut- able to a resumption of demand after the recession and the replacement of older infrastructure with new, larger-scale assets, overall market demand continues to grow, and that has led another phenom- ena: consolidation. Private equity fi rms now own three of the top five cold chain 3PLs in the nation. Lineage didn't even exist 10 years ago. Owned and managed by Bay Grove Capital, it actually represents the consoli- dation of 16 acquisitions the investment fi rm has made since 2008. As a result of these ongoing mergers and acquisitions, Lineage now has 102 facilities in 21 states. Meanwhile, AGRO Merchant Group, founded in January 2013 and backed by Oaktree Capital Management, ranks as the fi fth-largest global food trade busi- ness in the world, with announcements of international acquisitions and expansions coming, on average, every two months. In 2015 alone, the group acquired Rot- terdam, Netherlands-based ADB Cool, Sawyers Group located in northern Ire- land, and Icestar in Santiago, Chile. As for consolidation, "That's a trend that's had a big, big impact on the industry," Rosenbusch said, "and we don't see it slow- ing down any time in the near future." CC Contact Lara L. Sowinski at JAXPORT now imports select South American produce directly to the U.S. South Atlantic. Learn more at FIVE WAYS JAXPORT JUST GOT FRESHER PEARS BLUEBERRIES APPLES CITRUS GRAPES

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