NewCold to open its latest coldstore in the US

Tacoma, Washington, USA: NewCold’s first US frozen cold store in the United States was in 2018 inTacoma, Washington. It’s latest US frozen warehouse, in McDonough, Georgia, set to go live in mid-2024.

NewCold was established in Europe when the company built its first tall, highly automated site in Tacoma, Washington. When first opened, NewCold Tacoma stood as one of North America’s most energy-efficient and technologically advanced automated warehouses in the United States, the company says.

“Through multiple conversations in 2014, the relationship between NewCold and the food producer that would become NewCold Tacoma’s first customer was formed. Jonas Swarttouw, NewCold executive vice president commercial and chairman, North America, relocated from the Netherlands to the United States the following year to lead the NewCold team and create an intense, close collaboration with the customer. The customer’s team was led by he chief financial officer and Mike Shawgo, who later joined NewCold as Executive Vice President Operations in North America.” 

“A testament to the teamwork between us was my assignment of a cubicle at their office with my nameplate, enabling a daily collaboration with a diverse team of our customer that went on for months,” Swarttouw, said.

“It was an amazing experience to be part of the entire process of rethinking the [customer’s] supply chain and bringing the cold store to reality,” Swarttouw said. “Two companies that shared values and visions came together to create NewCold Tacoma,” said Shawgo. “It was critical for us as the customer to find a cold storage partner that believed in world-class service, as well as create an environment for employees to contribute and grow in the business. Those were two critical values at the core of the partnership,” Shawgo, said.

 Three members of today’s NewCold North American regional management team were all involved in the creation of the Tacoma facility, at the time each was in a different organization. Reflecting on where we are today in NewCold’s journey, we recognize that Shawgo (at the customer), Josh Currie (at the contractor), and Jonas Swarttouw (at NewCold) were all key players in these initial stages of NewCold’s entry into North America.

 “Tacoma was the seed that was planted that made our North America region what it is today. Not only in the formation of our leadership team but in the sites that followed,” says Josh Currie, who was then part of the general contractor’s team for NewCold Tacoma and today serves as NewCold executive vice president of development. 

“We knew it was the beginning of something big, and that we had to get through the challenges that were ahead,” said Matt Richardson, NewCold commercial manager, and previous Tacoma site manager.

“During NewCold Tacoma’s development, the team encountered hurdles demanding flexibility, adaptability, and creative problem-solving. Team members had to operate outside of job descriptions and dedicate themselves completely to meeting the customer’s needs. It took a total focus on the end goal, gritted determination, and an all-in team effort to get Tacoma operational and successful.
“Today, Tacoma serves five customers and is operating at full capacity. Over the last six years, the site has shipped and received more than 3.4 million pallets and over five billion pounds. It consistently meets operational KPIs and business goals, and in 2023 achieved 99.52% on-time loading for all customers.

“The site has come full circle to a very confident second-generation talent pool that’s hitting targets at every level,” said Richardson. “And customers are really happy and satisfied with their leadership.”

 NewCold Tacoma’s success has been instrumental in setting the standard in North America and leading the way to further growth. Subsequent facilities have opened in  with a facility in McDonough, Georgia currently under construction.

“The DNA of Tacoma is felt and seen throughout NewCold North America,” said Shawgo. “The company celebrated 64 internal promotions and transfers in 2023—employees from Tacoma can be found in Lebanon, Indiana, Atlanta, Georgia, and our regional organization. These team members bring the core values and the NewCold way of working to our operations all over North America. Our Service and People culture is the foundation of our growth, and Tacoma team members moving to new operations is a testament to that.”