New Orleans Cold Storage has plans to more than double the size of its existing storage space at the Port of Charleston, South Carolina.
The expansion represents an investment of more than $14 million, of which the South Carolina Ports Authority has approved up to a $12 million contribution to the project.
“Not only will our storage space be increasing dramatically by over 150 percent, but we will also be increasing our blast freezing capacity by 100 percent, giving us the ability to grow with the market well into the future,” said Mark Blanchard, president and CEO of New Orleans Cold Storage, in a written statement.
New Orleans Cold Storage currently has 55,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space and blast freeze capacity of 640,000 pounds per day at its NOCS South Atlantic facility at the Port of Charleston.
“We are looking forward to offering even more services to our clients at the Port of Charleston, where we have been for almost 30 years,” Blanchard said. “This expansion will help us continue to be one of the largest logistics and cold storage suppliers to the poultry, pork, beef, seafood, vegetable and international refrigerated food industries.”
The facility currently handles more exports than imports, but the expansion will especially benefit the import meat trade, particularly meat imports from Australia, New Zealand, Central America and South America, a company spokesperson told the JOC.
“We’re pleased to be a part of New Orleans Cold Storage’s expansion, especially given the strategic importance of refrigerated cargo to our business,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority. “So far this fiscal year, we’ve handled nearly 70,000 TEUs of refrigerated cargo, and we hope to see those numbers increase with this announcement.”
Through April, Charleston handled 68,845 TEUs of refrigerated cargo in fiscal year 2014, ending June 30, 2014. In the full fiscal year 2013, the port handled 71,445 TEUs of reefer cargo, compared with 72,730 TEUs in fiscal year 2012 and 57,139 TEUs in fiscal year 2011, which was the first full year of data collected by the port.
New Orleans Cold Storage has three other locations in the U.S., including two facilities at the Port of New Orleans and one facility in Houston. Growth at major cold storage companies has mushroomed in recent years, as companies look at overseas opportunities.