September 9, 2023

Running on Ice: Chicago is the new place to be


Your latest info on all things cold chain

Hello, and welcome to the coolest community in freight! Here you’ll find the latest information on warehouse news, tech developments and all things reefer madness-related. I’m your controller of the thermostat, Mary O’Connell. Thanks for having me!

All thawed out 

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Expanding its Chicagoland reach, Kuehne+Nagel is adding a GxP-compliant area in the Windy City. To be GxP-compliant, a facility must follow a set of regulations and quality guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration. The aim is to address the safety of the pharmaceutical product in a systematic manner while maintaining the quality of processes at every stage of manufacturing, control, storage and distribution. 

The new facility is now one of Kuehne+Nagel’s largest health care facilities in the world, with 21,000 square feet of space with separate areas that keep temperatures at 2 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius — specifically designed for health care operations. Earlier this year, the company made the move from Elk Grove Village, Illinois, to Bensenville, Illinois. After this expansion, it’s clear that Chicago remains a crucial part of Kuehne+Nagel’s future.

Temperature Checks

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

United States Cold Storage is making some moves as well. The company has announced a new automated cold storage facility in Hebron, Indiana — about an hour outside Chicago. This 13.58 million-cubic-foot public refrigerated warehouse, costing a casual $124 million, will be completed by May 2025.

Within this warehouse there will be about 43,400 pallet positions, with 35,600 of those serviced by automated storage and retrieval systems. The additional of the automation allows for higher pallet stacking, creating more space for goods. Not only is there emphasis on top-tier technology, but the facility will have solar panels to create 100% renewable energy to power the plant. About 30% of frozen food distributed through the warehouse will go to the Chicago-area market.

Food and drugs

(Photo: DiGiorno)

Two pieces of news in the food world this week. One has me questioning everything I know about pizza, and the other is actually pretty cool. Let’s start with the cool.

As we come to the end of blueberry season, some new approaches are being tested regarding food waste and blueberries. New tech developed by Vidre+ allows stickers to be placed within the packaging of blueberries that slowly release 1-MCP over 30 hours. 1-MCP stands for 1-Methylcyclopropene and is a derivative used as a synthetic plant growth regulator. Commercially, it is commonly used to slow the ripening of fruit and to help maintain the freshness of cut flowers.

The trial was commissioned by Fresh Inset and conducted by Dorota Wichrowaska from the University of Science and Technology in Poland. The trial found that blueberries treated with this sticker of 1-MCP maintained excellent quality through 25 days and could still be eaten on day 49, whereas the untreated fruit began to soften after 21 days. The best part is that after 28 days in cold storage, the treated berries had 83% more Vitamin C and 33% higher antioxidants levels.

Not quite the same as a sticker that reduces food waste, DiGiorno has done the unthinkable. It has both pineapples and pickles on a pizza — literally the two worst foods in the world to put on something so great. Italy has to be quite unhappy with this monstrosity. Anyway this pizza, if you can even call it that, is available through the end of September via weekly product releases on the company’s website. If anyone ends up getting this pizza, let me know how it is. I can only imagine how … interesting it tastes.

Cold chain lanes


Given that two separate companies are building new cold storage facilities for the Chicago market, it’s only natural that this week’s SONAR market is Chicago. Outbound tender rejections have risen to 8.7%, which is significantly higher than the rejections seen over the summer. As rejection rates continue to climb and outbound tender volumes continue to decline, expect a capacity crunch to come to refrigerated freight in Chicago. Spot rates will start rising and tender lead times will extend as shippers and brokers look to secure capacity.

Is SONAR for you? Check it out with a demo!

Shelf life

Massive fire engulfs Sunview Cold Storage Unit in McFarland, causing $2 million loss

Refrigerated-storage provider with Lebanon location to expand into northwest Indiana

Cryoport, Inc.: Swiss National Bank Reduces Stake as Company Provides Temperature-Controlled Supply Chain Solutions

Maersk strengthens offering with two new fulfillment centers in Central America and the Caribbean

Youngstown denied grant for Cold Storage building demolition

Wanna chat in the cooler? Shoot me an email with comments, questions or story ideas at [email protected].

See you on the internet.


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The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

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