RLS Logistics, Newfield, N.J., built what is said to be one of the country’s most advanced cold storage facility.

The 2.2 million-cubic-foot facility, located in Delanco, N.J., features high-tech, high-efficiency storage.

“It’s unusual to have a company like RLS Logistics that’s building new facilities with technology that can go toe-to-toe with the big players in the industry, and that still values good service, is vigilant about food safety and can give customers the room they need to grow,” says John Gaudet, vice president of business development. “It gets us closer to the Philadelphia port where a lot is happening, and it also puts us a little closer to the busy New Jersey ports.”

Phase 1 of the 4-phase project, which was announced in March 2017, will grow to 8.5 million cubic feet and accommodate 35,000 pallet positions over the next several years. The first installment is said to showcase some of the most advanced technologies and practices in cold storage today. 

For instance, the facility is said to be the first to employ a transcritical CO2 refrigeration system, thus eliminating the need for environmentally-unfriendly HFC refrigerants or ammonia-based systems, according to Tony Leo, president and CEO.

The European-inspired mobile racking system stacks pallets high on racks that move on tracks. The racks can be compressed together without aisles to save warehouse space, and when a pallet needs to be deposited or retrieved, the motorized racks move to create an aisle.

“It allows us to store more pallets in a footprint because you don’t have all these aisles chopping it up. As a result, we’ll utilize up to 95% of the warehouse space,” says Gaudet.

To accommodate the system, the warehouse boasts 54-foot-high ceilings, and the solar farm located next door will power the entire facility with energy left over to feed back into the grid.

Expansive build-out space surrounds this new cold-spot, providing manufacturers with temperature-controlled space and the support of a full-service 3PL attached to their facility.   

When all four phases of the facility are completed, RLS will create close to 100 jobs.