Preferred Freezer Services, Chatham, N.J., entered into a joint venture with Sinotrans Ltd., a logistics service provider in China; affiliates of Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp., a Taiwanese global cargo services provider; and the Yida Group, an urban design and real property developer. Together, they will jointly build and operate cold chain logistics businesses throughout China.

Preferred Freezer, which is majority owned by middle-market private equity firm Fenway Partners, has operated in China under a smaller joint venture since 2009. The new joint venture will leverage Preferred Freezer’s technology and refrigerated logistics expertise, and the local operating scale and capabilities of its strategic partners to address China’s rapidly growing demand for cold chain logistics services.

“Today’s announcement represents an important step forward for our business,” says John Galiher, president and CEO of Preferred Freezer. “We believe that China’s cold chain logistics is still in its initial stages of development, and through this strategic partnership with Sinotrans and Yang Ming, we will be well positioned to execute on significant growth opportunities and expand our footprint in the region. Importantly, our customer demand has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, and this joint venture provides Preferred Freezer with additional scale and local operating expertise to more effectively address their requirements in the Chinese market.”

“We are committed to being the leader of integrated cold chain warehousing and transportation solutions through a network of strategically located state-of-the-art facilities in China, and believe that Sinotrans, Yang Ming and Yida are the ideal partners to help Preferred Freezer achieve this goal,” he adds.

“We are excited to build our partnership with Sinotrans and Yang Ming, which underscores our commitment to setting a higher quality level and improving the reliability of China’s cold chain, and to increasing food safety awareness in the handling and distribution of temperature-controlled foods,” says Tim McLellan, managing director of Preferred Freezer in China. “Both companies are world-class strategic partners. Sinotrans has a robust domestic logistics network and distribution capabilities that are essential for an integrated logistics platform, while Yang Ming will bring important experience in maritime transport services and value added logistics solutions.”

Sinotrans, headquartered in Beijing, is the leading logistics service provider in the People’s Republic of China. Its principal businesses include freight forwarding and shipping agency, storage and terminal services, marine transportation and other services such as trucking transportation and express services.

Yang Ming, headquartered in Keelung, Taiwan, is principally engaged in the shipping business. The company operates its businesses primarily through the provision of domestic and overseas marine shipment service, domestic and overseas marine passenger service, warehouse, pier, tug boat, barge, container freight station and terminal operations, maintenance and repairs, chartering, sales and purchase of ships, maintenance and repairs, lease, sales and purchase of containers as well as chassis, shipping agency, as well as ocean freight forwarding service, among others.

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.