Americold Expands Midwest Operations with Opening of New $93M High-Tech, Automated Facility in Rochelle
August 20, 2019

Americold Expands Midwest Operations with Opening of New $93M High-Tech, Automated Facility in Rochelle

Americold Realty Trust (NYSE: COLD), (“Americold”), the world’s largest publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on the ownership, operation and development of temperature-controlled infrastructure, today announced the grand opening of its newest and most automated cold storage facility in Rochelle, IL. With 180,000 square feet of cold storage and operational space, the state-of-the-art facility incorporates innovative technologies to more efficiently service customers in the Midwest region and beyond.

“The Rochelle area is a big trade hub and a priority for many of our U.S. retailers and producers, which is why Americold has invested significantly in the new, automated facility,” said Fred Boehler, President and CEO of Americold. “The level of technological integration throughout the warehouse is unmatched in the cold storage industry and allows us to more efficiently fulfill customer orders.”

The new warehouse is located at 1010 Americold Drive, Rochelle, IL 61068 and is the most recent addition to the company’s portfolio of 179 locations around the globe. The expansive storage facility boasts 173,000 square feet of refrigerated space and 7,000 square feet of non-refrigerated space for offices, electrical and engine rooms, maintenance and other operational duties. The facility receives customer product – thousands of pounds of frozen desserts and potato products for restaurant and grocery store chains – through 5 rail and 23 truck dock doors inducted into its automated system, stored and transported through 55,800 pallet positions. 

“One of the reasons Americold’s newest and most technologically advanced, state-of-the-art facility is located here is because Rochelle was ready and able to deliver the necessary infrastructure for an Automated Storage and Retrieval System,” said Richard Ohlinger, Chairman of the Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corporation (GREDCO) Board of Directors.

Americold leverages automated sub systems throughout the facility to ensure efficient operations and product handling. The Wagner Low Oxygen system aids in fire suppression and eliminates the need for traditional sprinkler systems, and the Riantics gantry system automatically picks individual layers from pallets and builds mixed SKU pallets to satisfy customer orders and replenish mini-load layer storage. With the Riantics system in a freezer environment for the first time ever, the need for manual labor inside the freezers is eliminated, creating a better environment for warehouse associates. The seamless integration of pallet storage, layer picking, layer storage and loose case picking technologies also creates the ideal environment for Consumer Packaged Goods.

“I feel blessed as a community to have the spirited growth and the support of companies such as Americold that have made the decision and commitment to ‘Come Grow With Us’ in Rochelle,” said John Bearrows, Mayor of the City of Rochelle.

The Rochelle storage facility services customers across the U.S., with a primary focus on the Midwest region. The highly automated facility will employ more than 100 associates in full and part-time positions, with an added need for skilled laborers in operations management, maintenance and IT services. This need reduces the number of associates present throughout the warehouse at any given time to approximately 30 people, compared to a much larger presence of approximately 100 associates in traditional Americold facilities.

As part of Americold’s commitment to fighting childhood hunger and providing resources to the local communities it serves, Americold and Feed the Children distributed more than 200 boxes of food and essentials and an assortment of children’s books from Disney Publishing Worldwide and backpacks filled with school supplies to Rochelle families struggling below the poverty line immediately following the grand opening ceremony.

“Feed the Children is proud to partner with Americold to help vulnerable children and struggling families in Rochelle,” said Travis Arnold, Feed the Children president and CEO. “We know that when we combine our efforts, we will have a greater impact on the lives of families who need us most.”

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About Americold

Americold is the world’s largest owner and operator of temperature-controlled, integrated infrastructure. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Americold owns and operates 179 temperature-controlled warehouses, with over 1 billion cubic feet of storage, in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Argentina. Americold’s facilities are an integral component of the supply chain connecting food producers, processors, distributors and retailers to consumers. Visit www.americold.com for more information.

About Feed the Children

At Feed the Children, we feed hungry kids. We envision a world where no child goes to bed hungry. In the U.S. and internationally, we are dedicated to helping families and communities achieve stable lives and to reducing the need for help tomorrow, while providing food and resources to help them today. We distribute product donations from corporate donors to local community partners, we provide support for teachers and students, and we mobilize resources quickly to aid recovery efforts when natural disasters strike. Internationally, we manage child-focused community development programs in 10 countries. We welcome partnerships because we know our work would not be possible without collaborative relationships. Every dollar given goes seven times as far to provide food, hope, dignity and comfort.

Visit feedthechildren.org for more information.