The China cold chain market size was valued at USD 10.98 billion in 2016 and is poised for unprecedented growth over the forecast period owing to thriving organized retail sectors in the country. This is one such market that has benefited significantly from growing penetration of connected devices. Warehouse automation includes cloud technology, robots, conveyor belts, truck loading automation, and energy management. The workforce management solution is used to minimize labor cost and includes picking optimization and workforce forecast.
The pharmacy application is witnessing a gradual growth in the country, which is creating a demand forefficient cold chain logistics solutions and their proper management in this sector.
Increasing concern over quality is also likely to influence market demand. Implementation of various regulations by government agencies to ensure quality of food has urged warehouse operators to maintain five different temperature zones. Government regulations regarding food safety and technological advancements in cooling technology are major factors driving the demand for cold chain logistics in the country. Across China, the government is backed with several projects to enhance the development of cold chain solutions. For instance, in Tianjin, the government has developed aquatic products and processing and distribution centers to deliver refrigeration facilities to pelagic fleets offloading at Tianjin port.
External factors such as expansion of retail chains by multinationals, trade liberalization, and government initiatives to reduce food wastage are further expected to fuel market growth over the forecast period. Though China has no shortage of labor availability, logistics companies in the country are struggling to reduce costs, which signifies a lack of trained labor. Government initiatives to improve cold chain logistics management in China are likely to reduce barriers for U.S. logistics giants to invest in the country. Such investments are expected to enhance the country’s transport infrastructure.
However, consumers in the outskirts of tier 1 cities still prefer purchasing agricultural products from a wet market. This has resulted in limiting the full use of cold chains to tier 2 and tier 3 cities in China. On the other hand, cities such as Shanghai and Beijing are experiencing a rapid increase in demand for cold chain systems owing to growing influence of Western food habits. Furthermore, consumers in China have become more aware of food safety issues.
Based on type, the market has been segmented into storage, transportation, and monitoring components. The transportation type segment has been categorized into road, sea, rail, and air. The monitoring components segment has further been segregated into hardware and software. Hardware includes sensors, RFID devices, telematics, and networking hardware equipment.
The storage type segment has been bifurcated into reefer containers and warehouse, which can be studied based on bulk storage, production stores, and ports. Reefer containers can be studied based on varied sizes/volumes/capacity of these containers into 20 ft., 40 ft., 48 ft., and 53 ft.
The storage type segment generated the highest revenue in 2016, whereas monitoring components are anticipated to portray the highest growth rate over the forecast period. Changing consumer preferences regarding plastic packaging of traditional materials, which include glass bottles, are predicted to influence the package food applications prominently.
Moreover, regulations laid down by the government of China in order to ensure food quality have urged warehouse operators to implement and maintain various temperature zones based on the need for product storage. Rising demand for latest, modern high-cube refrigerated trailers, vehicles, and connected trucks for logistics purposes involving cross-product carriage is expected to catapult the refrigerated transportation segment
By application, the China cold chain market has been segmented into fruits and vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, and seafood, processed food, and pharmaceuticals. The fish, meat, and seafood application dominated the China market for cold chain solutions and services in 2016 and is predicted to continue its dominance over the forecast period.
The addition of a variety of imported products into the country’s seafood market, such as Alaskan black cod, New Zealand oysters, Canadian lobsters, Scottish crabs, and Japanese lobsters, has resulted in a shifting consumer preference to online seafood services. Thus, the online retailing of chilled and frozen foods, particularly seafood, has increased considerably and is likely to keep growing over the forecast period.
The processed food application segment is projected to experience unprecedented growth over the forecast period. Factors such as improved food packaging materials, continuous innovation in technology, and implementation of these technologies based on various application needs have facilitated the growth of processed food trading within the country.
The cold chain industry in China is expected to grow considerably over the forecast period owing to technological advancements in packaging, processing, and storage of seafood products. Moreover, rapidly growing demand and increasing cold chain infrastructure developments have made China a top market for cold chain development.
Based on city, the market has been segmented into Beijing, Shanghai, and other prominent cities, such as Shandong, Tianjin, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. A number of international exhibitions and expos are conducted in prominent cities, such as the Shanghai International Cold Chain Logistics Expo. These exhibitions focus on promotions, launches, and innovational demonstrations carried out within the logistics solutions industry and related applications.
Other cities such as the Shandong province dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2016. Cities such as Beijing and Shanghai receive fresh produce from Shandong. Additionally, there are a large number of cold storages available in the province. The other cities segment is slated to show strong growth owing to steady demand for various logistics services arising from demand for food products, fresh dairy, seafood, processed food, and pharmaceutical products.
Providers of cold chain services and solutions, such as warehouses, logistics, transport, distribution centers, and cold chain trucks, are continuously focusing on upgrading their cold chain services. They are also focusing on adoption of technological innovations and deploying IoT-like solutions to offer improved services.
Global players in the logistics industry are focusing on forming alliances and collaborative partnerships with local logistics service providers. This is sure to give players in China opportunities to improve their logistics and distribution networks and strengthen their delivery services.
The China market also shows potential for growth owing to increasing demand for seafood, frozen foods, and chilled foods via online channels. This is likely to pave the way for foreign investors and cold chain service providers to tap business opportunities in the country. Prominent players operating in the Chinese market include Swire Group, Articold Logistics Ltd., Shandong Gaishi International Logistics Group (Gaishi Group), SF Express, and Xianyi Holding Group, China.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2015
2017 - 2025
Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2017 to 2025
China (Beijing, Shanghai, Shandong, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and others)
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)
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This report forecasts revenue growth at country level and provides an analysis of latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the China cold chain market report based on type, application, and city:
Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Fruits & Vegetables
Fish, Meat, and Seafood
City Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Other Cities (Shandong, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and others)
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