By Brian Lang, Director Real Time Logistics, Dematic

According to a recent report from Markets and Markets, the global cold chain market is estimated to account for USD 203.14 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 293.27 Billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 7.6%. The global cold chain market is expanding with considerable growth potential over the next five years. The growth of this market can be attributed to the growth of international trade of perishable foods, technological advancements in refrigerated storage and transport, government support for the infrastructural development of the cold chain industry and an increase in consumer demand for perishable foods. Also, expansion of food retail chains by multinationals will enhance international trade and impact the growth of the cold chain market.

The report says that the refrigerated storage market is estimated to be dominated by the Asia Pacific region. Refrigerated storage capacities are growing in the Asia Pacific due to the increased need for reducing wastage of perishable foods.

The increased popularity of chilled and frozen foods in Asia Pacific is also a reflection of changing food preferences as consumers become more affluent, and that the infrastructure to support cold chain operations in the region is expanding.

As the cold chain market continues to expand in the Asia Pacific, warehouse managers will need to ensure they are deploying the right technologies, such as mobile computing devices, that are capable of operating efficiently and productively in cold storage environments.

The right technology for colder environments

When confronted with cold storage situations, standard retail tracking computers and devices don’t perform at adequate levels. Challenges such as LCD screens freezing up, barcode readers not being able to function if frost or condensation covers their optical ports and mobile computing batteries not releasing energy when temperatures drop below certain levels, force workers to resort to manual data entry. This in turn severely reduces productivity and increases error rates.

Operating in cold storage environments requires the ability to adjust to specific environmental conditions to ensure continued productivity. In order to do so, your hand-held computer needs a few key features and specifications, including:


Cold-environment computers can also have the added inclusion of touchscreen and board heaters. Heaters can ensure reliable computer performance in a number of key ways. One of the most important factors is that heaters prevent condensation, a detrimental result of cold storage environments in both the short-term and long-term that can negatively impact productivity.


To withstand colder environments and continue functioning properly it is important that mobile computers be made from durable material suitable for industrial applications and be well constructed to limit the effects of exposure. To prevent moisture and condensation from damaging the inside of the computer a strong seal is essential.


Cold-environment computers are typically made with large, well-spaced keys to facilitate easy use by gloved operators. While a glove friendly keypad layout is useful, ergonomics won’t overcome inferior housing, components or environmental protection. Most users would agree that the overall size and weight of the hand-held computer are ultimately more important for overall satisfaction and ease-of-use.

Bar Code Readers

Fogging or condensation can cause disruption to bar code readers, preventing them from being able to accurately read and decode labels. The best solution for this issue is to have the bar code reader integrated as a component of the handheld computer, taking advantage of the device’s internal heater to ensure functionality.

Using devices that aren’t suited to cold storage environments will inevitably lead to an increase in operating costs as well as a reduction in productivity, increased errors and a threat to on-time performance. Mobile computers can be adapted for cold-environment use with heaters, housings, components and peripherals that set them apart from standard models and ensure your workers don’t have to resort to manual operation.

For more information contact Dematic Real Time Logistics today.


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