Coldstores: operators predict growth in 2021

Cold store operators are optimistic about their prospects this year, particularly if problems associated with Brexit are ironed out, according to a survey of operators carried out by Cold Chain News.

Many operators expect volumes to rise once the lockdown ends and most feel they are well placed to take advantage of any upturn in demand. This is what they say:

Buffaload Logistics
“Our current forecast is exciting and we are expecting growth in the region of 10% and this is linked to our strategic model. We are starting to see many retailers prioritising their green credentials and, due to our double-deck fleet and carbon saving initiatives, we are a compelling solution for them with the ability to drive down their carbon footprint. We have infrastructure and capacity in place to keep up with the expected growth in volumes in line with our strategic business plan.”

Cool Move
“We would anticipate a positive outlook once Brexit teething troubles settle down and new requirements become the norm, but expect frozen storage occupancies to remain high throughout the industry.”

Culina Logistics/Great Bear
“2020 was a fantastic year for the business with many developments. Our growth momentum is continuing into 2021 and we are looking forward to a positive year.”

EV Cargo Logistics
“From a growth perspective, as consumer behaviour changes through the easing of lockdown, it is expected that this will stimulate growth and support economic recovery. In addition to retail growth, a recovery in food service activity is expected as hospitality venues reopen. As a longer term development, we are seeing retailers that are requiring stock earlier with suppliers’ product availability and collection times unchanged, our network is therefore evolving to provide more express transit times.”

Gist
“We expect to see increases in volumes following the relaxation of lockdown, in particular as people return to their workplaces and the high street, and are allowed to meet in groups. Over the coming year we also expect to continue our Covid management programmes at our own and supplier sites.”

HSH Coldstores
“We are predicting that we will see a 25% growth in volume over the next year.”

IBL Cold Stores
“The impact of Brexit and the pandemic make it difficult to predict anything. However, the UK temperature-controlled market is well placed to adapt and thrive.”

Lineage Logistics:
“The retail side (50%) of our business has traded above pre-Covid times, anywhere between 5>30%. We think it will remain like this throughout the year, whereas the non-retail side has been trading between 50>80% below. This will start to improve as beer gardens open in April, along with pubs indoors / restaurants. We should be back at 85% of 2019 trade by September.”

McCulla (Ireland)
“We expect challenging times in 2021, with both Covid and Brexit disruptions on the Irish Sea.”  

Moran Logistics
“People have realised more than ever the importance of food logistics and it is our expectation that volumes will grow as a result of the changes driven by the current pandemic. We have expanded our commercial and operations teams to support our current volumes and to help provide solutions for the increased volumes that we anticipate within the FMCG sector.”

NewCold
“Frozen food continues to thrive, and we do not see the demand for good quality logistics partners diminishing. Frozen space continues to be at a premium in the UK, although some of the biggest temperature-controlled logistics providers in the market, including NewCold, are continuing to grow and add much needed capacity.”

Reed Boardall
“2021 will mark another exciting stage in Reed Boardall’s development as we grow our site with the extension to one of our cold stores coming on-line through April. One of the main challenges we face will be ensuring we are able to support the food service sector when it emerges from lockdown and restrictions start to relax in the coming months. We also expect to see ongoing problems around Brexit throughout the rest of the year as issues regarding borders and the challenges of getting stock into the country continue.”

Transkold
“We are looking at expanding our storage facilities and predict that there will still be an increase in demand.”

Turners (Soham)
“The biggest impact is (the lack of) EU labour coming to the UK and our feelings are this will only get worse. Our managing director’s view is that 2020 presented many opportunities in the food sector, with 2021 being more uncertain due to Covid and the impact on the economy, but we remain positive as ever.”

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