Sustainability has become a popular concept in many industries, and the cold storage and logistics space is no exception. With an increased focus on climate change and greater consumer interest in “going green,” new ideas and sustainable innovations in cold storage and food delivery are emerging to connect consumers with quality food products.
Ruben Cortez heads Frozen Logistics, one of Texas’s premiere cold storage and logistics management companies. The company is expanding and has debuted its new sustainable marketplace, Delivered Cold, with the aim of revolutionizing the cold storage and food delivery landscape.
As an entrepreneur, technologist, investor, and real estate investor, Cortez brings his litany of experience to the cold storage industry. His goal with Delivered Cold is to disrupt an industry in need of disruption — especially when it comes to home food delivery.
“Most home delivery services of frozen products limit what can go into a box to the items produced from just one seller,” Cortez explains, “but with Delivered Cold, shoppers can add items from many different sellers into the same box.” According to Cortez, this “outside the box” thinking comes down to simply giving consumers what they want.
Additionally, Delivered Cold’s approach to home food delivery is dramatically different from its competition. “The way we do it isn’t possible on other marketplaces because the sellers are left to fulfill orders of their products directly,” Cortez explains. “If a consumer buys three different items from three different sellers, the consumer will get three different boxes.”
The Delivered Cold approach makes things easier for consumers, while also eliminating unnecessary packaging, waste, and cost. Frozen Logistics makes this possible by operating its own cold storage facility where these products are stored and then fulfilling Delivered Cold orders straight from its own freezer.
A spark of innovation
The idea for Delivered Cold was born from one simple observation: Cortez noticed that Frozen Logistics’s freezers stored products from many amazing farmers, ranchers, and other producers. “I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if consumers could shop our freezer directly?” explains Cortez.
The idea would not only be beneficial for consumers, but would also allow the company to cut out costly and complex food distribution networks. By reducing these touchpoints in the supply chain, they could offer less spoiled food and provide sellers another avenue to get their products directly to consumers.
A more sustainable marketplace
The Delivered Cold model is more accessible and convenient by design and offers a significant sustainability aspect to the company. According to a recent study from McKinsey, consumers overwhelmingly reported that sustainability is crucial when choosing which companies they want to work with.
“Delivered Cold compresses the cold delivery supply chain required to get products from the freezer to the consumer,” says Cortez. “This reduces costly and environmentally impactful steps.” The positive impact of the company’s model includes reduced transportation costs, reduced facility requirements, and reduced material waste.
Moreover, Delivered Cold uses recycled and recyclable materials throughout its shipping process, remaining aware of the impact of some of its less-than-recyclable materials required to get frozen products to consumers. To offset the negative impact of these materials, the company has pledged to plant one tree for each box they ship.
Cortez and his team are also aware of the waste empty space creates. “When shipping a box with a frozen product, it’s best practice to ensure the box has no empty spaces,” he explains.
Excess space in packaging can cause products to shift during shipping, which can also lead to thawing — thereby spoiling food and creating excess waste. Previously, companies would fill these empty spaces with plastic or paper. In comparison, Delivered Cold’s sophisticated algorithm tracks the available space in each box as consumers shop, then offers appropriate products to the consumer at competitive and affordable prices to fill each box with as much product as possible. This minimizes the need for extra packing material and maximizes the product-to-packing ratio, reducing overall wasted material and product.
Lastly, Delivered Cold produces its own dry ice on site, which minimizes the energy typically lost as dry ice production is very energy intensive. The dry ice is produced near where the boxes are packed, with a focus on reducing cost and waste.
Growing into 2024
Delivered Cold has soft-launched in November and plans to begin 2024 strong with over 30 sellers. The company also expects to host over 100 sellers by the end of 2024 and to ship over 10,000 boxes by next December.
Cortez and his team at Delivered Cold are excited about merging technological advancements, focusing on sustainability, and giving customers what they want in one service. Customers who want to be first in line to get a range of products sent straight to their door can keep an eye on www.deliveredcold.com.
“We are reducing the complexity and a lot of the unnecessary waste that comes with consumer-direct shipping,” says Cortez. “Customers can shop our freezers easily and keep an eye on their own carbon footprint at the same time.”