Food Distribution Warehouses


Food distribution warehouses qualify as one of the “depression resistant” developments in Houston. Being the 4th largest city in the country, Houston’s primary industry is Energy … which employs lots of folks, all of whom have to feed their families. The major food storage and distribution companies like Sysco Foods, Grocers Supply, Glazier Foods, Martin Preferred Foods, Labatt Foods and others do a very nice job of taking care of this demand in Houston. These facilities are generally located in areas of Houston which have excellent accessibility to major freeways for their truck routes. Many of these companies serve cities outside the Houston area and some do out-of-state distribution too. Most of their facilities combine refrigerated space (freezer and cooler) and dry product storage space. Refrigerated trucks and standard over-the-road tractor trailers handle the trucking task and when trucks come load at the warehouse, the building doors have to be “truck dock” high with dock levelers (to match up the floor of the warehouse with the floor of the truck) and “dock seals” for the refrigerated areas so the cooled environment doesn’t escape. There are actually two industries which serve the food storage and distribution function and they are: private developments for individual companies (could be multi-tenant, or single tenant freestanding buildings) and “public warehouses”. Public warehouses are companies which exist to contract the refrigerated and dry warehouse space and labor with food companies to handle their storage and trucking operation to their customers. Food distribution warehouses, which have refrigerated space, are expensive to build & maintain. Locations have to be carefully chosen to be away from residential development, schools and churches … and especially if the refrigeration system is Ammonia. There will always be a demand for food distribution warehouses and those with refrigeration (freezers and coolers) are in very short supply in Houston.