The China cold chain market size is projected to reach USD 27.79 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., registering a 10.9% CAGR during the forecast period. A cold chain process is a temperature-controlled supply chain involving an unbroken sequence of refrigerated production, storage, and distribution activities. A cold chain process involving all stages–from storage and distribution to transportation–is carried out using associated equipment and logistics solutions so as to adhere to temperature requirements and maintain a desired temperature range.
Advancements in technology for cooling and chilling processes is a key factor driving growth. Stringent policies and regulations laid down to ensure quality control of food products and import of chilled and frozen food products such as seafood and meat have also resulted in improvements in cold chain logistics. Implementation of various regulations by government agencies to maintain quality of food has urged warehouse operators to maintain five different temperature zones.
Furthermore, the country’s government is engaged in backing various projects and undertaking initiatives to promote improved cold storage and transportation solutions in order to develop the cold chain market. This can be attributed to increasing concerns over quality and safety of food and rising consumer awareness regarding hygienic and healthy eating habits.
Penetration of e-commerce into the food and beverages and pharmaceutical sectors is also likely to propel the country’s cold chain logistics market. Several e-commerce giants in the country, such as JD.com, TooToo, and Tmall, are keenly investing in upgrading their storage and distribution network so as to serve consumers in a better way.
E-commerce players focus on tapping growing opportunities in cold chain logistics owing to potential presented by chilled and frozen food products such as fish, meat, and seafood. Growing import of a variety of seafood products from different countries is also encouraging e-commerce players to adopt advanced chilling and storage infrastructure so as to maintain food quality and efficiently distribute them to consumers.
The industry is slated to present lucrative opportunities for hardware, software, transportation, and logistics service providers. The monitoring components segment is projected to portray the highest growth rate over the forecast period owing to penetration of IoT and other technologies and digital platforms in the cold chain logistics industry. Online trading of food and beverages is resulting in a positive impact on the monitoring components segment, particularly software providers.
Application of cold chain solutions include fruits and vegetables; dairy; fish, meat, and seafood; and processed food. The fish, meat, and seafood application segment dominated the entire market in terms of revenue in 2016, followed by the dairy segment. However, processed food products are gaining considerable traction in recent years and this segment is likely to witness the highest growth over the forecast period.
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Further key findings from the report suggest:
- External factors such as expansion of retail chains by multinationals, trade liberalization, and government initiatives to reduce food wastage are expected to fuel the cold chain market in China
- Rising demand for latest, modern high-cube refrigerated trailers, vehicles, and connected trucks for logistics purposes involving cross-product carriage is expected to catapult the refrigerated transportation segment
- Online retailing of chilled and frozen foods, particularly seafood such as salmon, flounder, and halibut, has risen considerably and is likely to continue exhibiting strong growth over the forecast period
- Cities such as Shanghai and Beijing are experiencing rapid increase in demand for cold chain systems, with a noticeable influence of Western food habits. Other cities such as the Shandong province dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2016. This may be attributed to rising export of fresh produce in Beijing and Shanghai from Shandong, coupled with high availability of cold storages in the Shandong province
- Prominent players in the industry include Swire Group, Articold Logistics Ltd., Shandong Gaishi International Logistics Group (Gaishi Group), SF Express, and Xianyi Holding Group, China.