The cold storage or refrigerated-warehouse receives and stores perishable food products for producers and middlemen. This type of warehouse gives special protection to the commodity through temperature control, ventilation and control of humidity. Cold storage is used for the storage of perishables frequently at or below temperatures of 45° Farenheit. As is true of public warehouses in general, organisations of this type have no ownership or interest in the goods which they store. They simply preserve them for others, who pay a charge for this service.
There are certain products like vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes. fruits, meats, eggs and other kinds of perishables which can not be carried far or stored for long except at a certain temperature. Cold storage facilities have been developed for the storage of such commodities. But there are some products which are highly perishable. These products can not be held long even in cold storage. As such they are now being subjected to special “quick freezing” processes by means of which they can be carried for long periods.’ The quick-freezing facilities provide a temperature of 50° Fahrenheit or below for the preservation of the highly perishable products. The facilities may be either private or public in nature.
Warehouse receipts which may be used as collaterals for loans at the bank are issued and the warehouse will itself make loans on the security of goods deposited with it. Unlike the goods that move rather rapidly through general merchandise warehouse, commodities stored in the cold-storage plant generally remain for a period of months.
It should be noted, in passing, that by no means are all cold storage warehouses of the public warehouse type. This is made clear by the following classification of cold storage warehouses:
(1) Public Warehouses conduct a general cold storage business with the same basis as general merchandise warehouse, with the exception that goods generally stay in them a longer period of time. They are usually equipped to carry any perishable commodity in storage.
(2) Combined Warehouses are usually operated by concerns whose business requires refrigeration and who, having space in excess of thier own requirements, engage in some public warehousing.
(3) Meat Packing Establishments are basically private cold storage warehouses and are operated by meat packing firms. With some exceptions these plants also engage in the freezing and curing of meat and the rendering of lard.
(4) Private Warehouses do not carry anything in storage except for their owners. They are usually constructed to handle but one commodity at a time, such as fruits or fish.
The latest development in the warehouse refrigeration is the cold storage locker plant from which farmers or city dwellers rent individual compartments for storing meat, fruits and vegetables. In these plants, space in the form of individual compartments is made available to consumers upon the payment of a monthly rental.
The cold storage locker plants mostly perform the following functions : butchering, chilling, cutting, wrapping, grinding, freezing, curing, smoking, lard rendering, and storage of meat, and the freezing and storage of fruits and vegetables’. They also buy and sell frozen products of various kinds.