In the high throughput distribution environment of perishable produce, Ceres Fruit Growers, South Africa, looked to increase its storage capacity while maintaining full product accessibility and improving air circulation. The mobile racking solution, Poweracks by Storax, Charleston, S.C., helped Ceres Fruit Growers increase storage capacity, decrease operating costs and improve product shelf life.

“For over 20 years, we have been utilizing Poweracks in our produce distribution facilities, which has allowed us to increase our practical storage capacity by 75-80% and decrease our energy costs due to improved air circulation,” says Deon Schickerling, electrical and refrigeration manager at Ceres Fruit Growers. “We have numerous aisles moving simultaneous, which provides not only full accessibility to each pallet location, but [also] the speed we need in our high turn environment.”

“Increasing storage capacity within cold storage environments is not only relevant but necessary,” says Todd Jessup, principal of FLEXSPACE, the North American distributor of Storax solutions. “Energy costs are a major contributor to cold storage facilities’ overall operating expenditures. By eliminating and replacing static access aisles with moveable aisles, facilities can increase their storage capacity by 100% within the same building footprint. The level of efficiency and productivity also increases with unobstructed access to every product storage location while decreasing the number of forklift touches.”

Perishable cold storage environments balance maximizing storage capacity with temperature and humidity control. When air circulation is optimized, product maintains its shelf life, and in the case of Ceres Fruit Growers, set-point temperature was raised, thus saving energy and operating costs.