Delivering Cold Storage Options in Today’s Climate

An inside look at the Seaonus Cold Storage Facility in Jacksonville, Florida.
Aug 21, 2020 | Cargo Blog

Cold storage space is on the rise according to the 2020 Global Cold Chain Capacity Report by Global Cold Chain Alliance. The new report shows total capacity worldwide is up nearly 17 percent from 2018 – with the United States leading as the single largest country market.

As consumers respond to the global pandemic, shippers need more than available space. They need a trusted partner who can help them navigate change, maintain the reliability of their supply chain, and deliver a quality product. In Jacksonville, Florida – fresh and frozen shippers can find both available space and trusted service providers.

Mark Schultz

“We are certainly seeing an increased demand within the perishable retail sector of our business – especially with the growth of online grocery sales,” said Mark Schultz, Director of Commercial and Continuous Improvement of Warehousing at Patriot Rail & Ports. Schultz manages the company’s cold storage facilities in Jacksonville and along the Gulf Coast.

Seaonus Cold Storage, part of Patriot Rail & Ports, has been operating its Jacksonville facility since 1987 and is the only rail-served facility with a breakbulk stevedoring operation to complement its wide-range of services. The company’s capabilities include USDA import and export, storage space, blast freezing, and bonded storage. “Seaonus has a strong reputation for operating at a high productivity level with the ability to meet our customers’ demands,” Schultz said.

In response to shifts in shipper needs, he and his team are evaluating warehouse operations and implementing new strategies to increase efficiencies – it’s an approach Schultz says is necessary to remain a market leader in the cold storage industry. “Complacency is something you cannot be in this business,” he added. “Flexibility is key and at Seaonus our goal is to develop a customer-centric plan for each shipper according to the needs of their product.”

Worker on forklift moves product through the Seaonus Cold Storage warehouse.

Whether that product is fresh poultry in need of blast freezing for export or frozen pizzas staged for delivery to regional grocery stores, “We can create a customized solution to meet the shippers’ needs” said Schultz.

JAXPORT’s global connections to ports worldwide support the company’s export and import operations with ocean carrier service to Africa, the Caribbean, China, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. The area’s three highways allow for fast final mile delivery to stores throughout Florida and the Southeast U.S., including some of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the country.

“Jacksonville’s cold storage capacity and capabilities continue to grow,” said Alberto Cabrera, Director of Cargo Development at JAXPORT. “In the past year, we have seen service providers like Seaonus invest in their facilities to meet the needs of today’s shippers.” Jacksonville offers more than 30 million cubic feet of refrigerated warehousing as well as 100,000-plus pallet positions of temperature-controlled warehousing space. In addition, 1,600+ reefer plugs support the movement of reefer equipment across JAXPORT’s terminals.

“The combination of our strategic location, available space, and experienced service providers is unmatched in the U.S. Southeast market – and we stand ready to help shippers experience the advantages,” said Cabrera.

Story by: Whitney Croxton, Sr. Marketing Coordinator
Jacksonville Port Authority