The global cold chain market size was estimated at USD 233.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.6% from 2023 to 2030. Changes in consumer preferences and growing e-commerce sales are expected to drive the growth of the market. An increasing number of organized retail stores in developing economies are leading to the growing demand for cold chain solutions. Rising investment in cold chains and government initiatives to minimize food waste are expected to boost market growth. The growing adoption of technologies such as RFID and automation in cold chain applications provides significant growth opportunities for the market.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) and bilateral free trade agreements, such as the European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), have created opportunities for exporters in the U.S. and Europe to increase trade for perishable foods in a duty-free manner.
The refrigerated storage market in developing economies is driven by a shift from carbohydrate-rich diets to protein-rich foods, owing to rising consumer awareness. Countries such as China are expected to portray a significant growth rate over the coming years due to a consumer-led economic transition. With growing technological advancements in warehouse management and refrigerated transportation, the market will likely expand in developing economies.
Increasing IT spending in cold storage logistics drives the growth of the cold chain market by facilitating better inventory management and improving the overall efficiency of cold chain supply systems. By investing in advanced technologies such as cloud computing, IoT, and RFID, cold storage operators can track and monitor their inventory in real-time, reducing the risk of food waste, spoilage, and product recalls. The rising demand for temperature-sensitive products has emphasized the need for real-time cold chain monitoring.
Furthermore, several countries have strict regulations governing the transportation and storage of perishable food products to ensure food safety and quality. Compliance with these regulations often requires a robust cold chain system, which can be achieved with the help of IT systems. IT systems are critical in complying with these regulations as they provide real-time monitoring of temperature and humidity levels, location tracking, and data analytics.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic became a severe issue worldwide within a short period. The coronavirus's epicenter shifted from China to Europe and the U.S., making the country, the worst-hit country, globally. The pandemic led to lockdowns and travel restrictions in many parts of the world, impacting the supply chains of various businesses. The pandemic affected the cold chain industry to a significant extent.
On the supply side, the production of pharmaceutical drugs and supply of raw materials for clinical trials of vaccines increased owing to the significant increase in the total number of active cases worldwide in Q2 and Q3 of 2020. With the growing number of active cases, several key pharmaceutical players, such as Pfizer Inc.; Moderna, Inc.; and Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., actively invested in developing COVID-19 vaccines for the global market. For instance, in March 2020, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. announced an investment of over USD 1 billion in partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for research & development and clinical testing of COVID-19 vaccines.
The key strategies undertaken comprised ramping up the production of the COVID-19 vaccines and maintaining transparency in the distribution of vaccines across their respective nations. Building a resilient supply chain for vaccine-related raw materials is expected to boost the overall cold chain logistics industry growth over the forecast period. Another major trend witnessed after the onset of the pandemic was a significant rise in the number of e-commerce purchases, including the purchase of perishable products, including dairy, fruits & vegetables, and meat, among others.
These products must be kept in cold storage warehouses and distributed with thermally insulated packaging through refrigerated vehicles. The rising popularity of prepackaged food and beverage items reflects well the expansion of the cold chain in the food industry. As a result, food manufacturers are focusing on food storage to extend their shelf life, which is likely to drive the cold chain industry. These trends highlight the need for the food value chain to transition away from public marketplaces and toward a cold-chain system that maintains perishable goods for extended durations. These factors are projected to boost demand for cold chains during the projection period.
Based on type, the market is segmented into storage, transportation, packaging, and monitoring components. The storage segment dominated the overall cold chain industry, gaining a market share of 51.4% in 2022. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.5% throughout the forecast period. The growth can be attributed to an increasing preference for packaged foods across the globe. The changing dietary patterns and lifestyles of consumers are driving the demand for frozen foods. This is expected to boost the demand for storage solutions. Moreover, market players are expanding their storage capacities to meet cold storage needs.
Cold chain systems are crucial for supplying healthcare and food & beverage products. Demand for cold chain transportation solutions such as refrigerated containers and vehicles to safely transport temperature-sensitive goods is expected to drive the transportation segment’s growth over the forecast period.
Packaging products include crates, ice packs, insulated containers & boxes, cold chain bags/vaccine bags, and others. Some factors considered while choosing a packaging product include cost-efficiency and the material of the packaging product. Companies are introducing sustainable shipping products to address growing environmental concerns. For instance, in January 2022, U.S.-based PTG announced the launch of a new recyclable thermal shipper under its TRUEtemp NATURALS line. It maintains a temperature range between 2°C and 8°C for 72 hours.
The monitoring components segment is anticipated to grow at the fastest CAGR of 22.5% throughout the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to technological advancements and the growing need to ensure shipment integrity, efficiency, and safety. Advances are equally noticeable in backend IT infrastructure and frontend devices deployed for collecting and reporting real-time shipment information.
Efficient cold storage management largely depends on software and hardware components used for monitoring purposes. Hardware components include data loggers, remote temperature sensors, RFID devices, networking devices, and telematics devices. The stringent regulatory environment in the pharmaceutical industry surrounding the maintenance of product quality has positively influenced the adoption of cold chain temperature monitoring solutions.
Based on temperature range, the market is segmented into chilled (0°C to 15°C), frozen (-18°C to -25°C), and deep-frozen (below -25°C). The frozen (-18°C to -25°C) segment dominated the overall market, gaining a revenue share of 61.1% in 2022. It is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 19.7% throughout the forecast period. Poultry, cakes & bread, and meat need freezing temperatures to remain fresh. This is driving the need for frozen cold chain solutions to preserve the quality of perishable food & beverage and pharmaceutical products. Moreover, the widespread availability of cold chain storage and transportation solutions for frozen temperature ranges drives the segment’s growth.
The chilled (0°C to 15°C) segment is expected to grow at a considerable CAGR of 16.6% over the forecast period. To remain fresh, many vegetables, fruits, and meat require chilled temperature ranges, usually between 2°C to 4°C, during transportation. Chilled temperature storage of perishable products such as dairy products prevents deterioration, increasing shelf life. Maintaining the quality of perishable goods and minimizing wastage is driving the segment's growth.
Based on application, the market is segmented into pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, and others. The food & beverages segment dominated the overall cold chain industry, gaining a market share of 77.2% in 2022. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.4% throughout the forecast period. Technological developments in the storage, packaging, and processing of seafood are anticipated to boost the growth of this segment. However, processed food is projected to grow significantly over the forecast years owing to continued innovations in packaging materials. Advancements in packaging materials increase the shelf life of foods. This has increased the sales of processed foods over the past few years.
The pharmaceuticals segment is expected to grow at a considerable CAGR of 20.5% over the forecast period. High product demand in the pharmaceuticals segment can be attributed to its importance in maintaining the efficacy and safety of pharmaceuticals. The cold chain in the pharmaceutical industry is driven by stringent regulatory norms, such as Goods Distribution Practices (GDP) in the European Union (EU). These regulations are a shift witnessed in governments across the world toward standardizing regulations globally for better transportation systems for healthcare-related products.
North America held the largest revenue share of more than 34% in 2022. It will retain the dominant position throughout the forecast period as the region has significant growth opportunities for companies planning to make long-term investments. Increasing penetration of connected devices and a large consumer base are also expected to fuel market growth over the forecast period. However, Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest-growing regional market over the projected period with a CAGR of 21.1% owing to increasing government investments in logistics infrastructure development and penetration of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).
China is a major contributor to the Asia Pacific regional market. The market growth in China is attributed to factors such as technological advancements in the packaging, processing, and storage of seafood products. Rising demand and growing cold chain infrastructure development have made China a top market for cold chains. China is undergoing a rapid transition from a construction- & manufacturing-led economy to a consumer-led economy. Rising innovations in the pharmaceutical sector in China are also expected to boost the demand for cold chain solutions. Another major factor driving the market includes the rapid expansion of biopharma in the region.
The cold chain industry is highly competitive and companies are undertaking strategies such as mergers & acquisitions, expansions, and product developments to gain a competitive edge. For instance, in March 2023, Americold Logistics, Inc. announced the expansion of its facility in Spain. The expansion aimed to add 12,000 pallet positions and 11 loading bays in Barcelona, offering order preparation, storage, transportation, and value-added services across Europe. Some prominent players in the global cold chain market include:
Americold Logistics, Inc.
LINEAGE LOGISTICS HOLDING, LLC
United States Cold Storage
Wabash National Corporation
Sonoco ThermoSafe (Sonoco Products Company)
United Parcel Service of America, Inc.
A.P. Moller - Maersk
In June 2023, Intelsius announced the addition of the ORCA Pallet to its ORCA temperature-controlled packaging range. It has been described as a multi-use and high-performance temperature-controlled pallet shipper designed for large-volume pharmaceutical payloads in the cold chain. It comes in 3 sizes and 3 temperature ranges and has a collapsible design to combat budget and storage constraints
In June 2023, Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) and Americold announced a strategic partnership for the co-location of Americold’s warehouse facilities on the CPKC network. The main objective of the partnership is the optimization of temperature-controlled logistics across North America by building a facility in Kansas City, Missouri, bringing together cold storage and value-added-services and connecting major markets in the U.S. Midwest and Mexico
In May 2023, Sonoco ThermoSafe announced a global partnership lease agreement with Cargolux, a Luxembourg-based cargo-only global airline. As per the agreement, Sonoco ThermoSafe will provide its Pegasus ULD passive temperature-controlled air freight shipping container via Cargolux’s selection of air freight pharma shipping services and solutions. The Pegasus is globally the first such container that is FAA and EASA-approved for pharmaceutical use
In March 2023, Americold inaugurated its facility expansion in Santa Perpetua Barcelona, Spain. It involves the addition of 11 loading bays and 12,000 pallet positions, thus offering a much higher capacity in temperature-controlled products and services to regional customers. The expansion means that the facility now has more than 20,000 pallet positions providing storage for chilled, frozen, and ambient produce
In March 2023, Lineage Logistics announced the official opening of its expanded cold storage facility at Port of Aarhus, Denmark, with the expansion adding 18,000 pallet spaces at the site for overall 27,500 pallet spaces. The increased capacity is expected to offer streamlined storage options for shellfish and fish producers, among other customers, which will play a major role in driving trade activities between Greenland, Denmark, and the global market
In January 2023, Cold Chain Technologies introduced the ‘CCT TheraShield’ portfolio of customized services and products to cater to the gene and cell therapy industry. It has been made available in different sizes and temperature profiles, and is linked directly to the ‘CCT Smart Solutions’ portal, which helps customers in planning, creating, tracking, and optimizing their shipments In January 2023, Lineage Logistics announced a partnership with the supply chain insurer Parsyl for offering highly competitive cargo insurance solutions to customers of Lineage in the food and beverage sector. Parsyl leverages data from various sources to develop a tailored coverage on the basis of risk profile of individual customers, thus enabling better coverage, more competitive pricing, and more efficient claims service
In September 2022, Cold Chain Technologies announced the expansion of its ‘TRUEtemp Naturals’ portfolio by launching seasonal solutions. The portfolio makes use of proprietary design & manufacturing technologies for providing pharmaceutical-grade, time-temperature performance in an eco-friendly, recyclable, and repulpable solution. The environment-friendly designs are expected to aid CCT in increasing their commitment of avoiding 50 million pounds of landfill waste by 2025 to 60 million pounds
Market size value in 2023
USD 271.0 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030
USD 892.3 billion
CAGR of 18.6% from 2023 to 2030
Base year for estimation
2017 - 2021
2023 - 2030
Revenue in USD billion and CAGR from 2023 to 2030
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, trends
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; Middle East & Africa
U.S.; Canada; Germany; UK; France; Spain; Italy; Norway; Netherlands; Switzerland; Russia; China; Japan; India; Singapore; South Korea; Australia; Brazil; Mexico; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA); UAE; South Africa
Key companies profiled
Americold Logistics, Inc.; LINEAGE LOGISTICS HOLDING, LLC; United States Cold Storage; Burris Logistics; Wabash National Corporation; NewCold; Sonoco ThermoSafe (Sonoco Products Company); United Parcel Service of America, Inc.; A.P. Moller - Maersk; NICHIREI CORPORATION; Tippmann Group
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This report forecasts revenue growth and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global cold chain market report based on type, temperature range, application, and region:
Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017 - 2030)
Private & Semi-Private
Walk-in Cooler and Freezer
Insulated Containers & Boxes
Large (32 to 66 liters)
Medium (21 to 29 liters)
Small (10 to 17 liters)
X-small (3 to 8 liters)
Petite (0.9 to 2.7 liters)
Cold chain bags/Vaccine bags
Temperature Range Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017 - 2030)
Chilled (0°C to 15°C)
Frozen (-18°C to -25°C)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017 - 2030)
Food & Beverages
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruit Pulp & Concentrates
Fish, Meat, and Seafood
Bakery & Confectionary
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017 - 2030)
Middle East & Africa
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
b. The global cold chain market was estimated at USD 233.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 271.0 billion in 2023.
b. The global cold chain market is expected to progress at a compound annual growth rate of 18.6% from 2023 to 2030 to reach USD 892.3 billion in 2030.
b. The storage segment accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 51.4% in 2022 in the cold chain market and will maintain its dominance over the forecast period owing to an increasing preference for packaged foods globally.
b. The insulated containers and boxes segment held the largest revenue share of over 52.7% in 2022 in the cold chain market. The other products includes a detailed analysis of crates, ice packs, labels, and others.
b. North America held the largest revenue share of more than 34% in 2022. It will retain the dominant position throughout the forecast period as the region has significant growth opportunities for the companies planning to invest for the long haul. Increasing penetration of connected devices and a large consumer base are also expected to fuel market growth over the forecast period
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