Powerful at -23° C –  Nagel-Group expands and modernises its deep-freeze network

Frozen products continue to gain ground, as they allow consumers to have a flexible, varied and healthy diet. The increasing online trade with food also leads to an increased demand for frozen goods. Nagel-Group is responding to the demands of the market with extensive investments in the modernisation and expansion of its frozen food sites.

100 years ago, Clarence Birdseye’s invention of the first freezer marked the beginning of a new age in food technology. [1] The development of a technology that allows food to be processed and consumed at a later date laid the foundation for the flexibility of modern society. Today, consumers in the frozen food segment benefit from a unique product variety that leaves almost nothing to be desired, from fruit and vegetables to ready meals and cream pies. For both private households and restaurants, the high quality, long shelf life and preservative-free production are major selling points.

The increasing popularity of frozen products is also proven by the sales figures: With domestic sales of 3.9 million tonnes, the frozen food industry in 2022 can record growth of 3.6 % compared to the previous year. The out-of-home market has developed particularly strongly: After the removal of the Corona restrictions, sales rose to 1.9 million tonnes, which corresponds to an increase of 14.9 % compared to 2021.  [2] With the rising demand, the requirements for temperature-controlled logistics services are naturally also increasing. Factors such as changing order situations, a shortage of skilled workers and ever shorter delivery times also require a high degree of flexibility from logistics service providers.


The Nagel-Group is one of Europe’s leading food logistics companies. With 130 locations, the company provides its customers with a close-knit and strategically optimised network for the transport and warehousing of temperature-sensitive foodstuffs. The logistics service provider is also a market leader in the frozen food sector with currently 26 frozen food warehouses, which offer about 380,000 pallet spaces. In view of the aforementioned challenges, the Nagel-Group is investing up to one billion euros in modernisation and digitalisation as well as in the expansion of its network of sites and infrastructure over the next ten years. This comprehensive future strategy also includes the expansion and new construction of many TC locations, such as Nuremberg and Schweitenkirchen, whose completion is planned for the first quarter of 2024.


With an investment volume of 60 million euros, a large-scale conversion project at the Nuremberg site began in May 2022. The existing fresh produce site is being expanded into a modern multi-temp facility, in which different temperature zones are combined at one location. In Nuremberg, the approximately 10,500 m² of logistics space will provide room for a fully automated high-bay warehouse and storage capacities for about 27,000 pallets in all temperature classes. The project focuses on optimising all processes to be as energy-efficient and low-emission as possible.

Around 40 km north of Munich, the expansion of the Schweitenkirchen logistics site, in which the Nagel-Group is investing around 40 million euros, also started in 2022. Frozen food halls with 13,200 pallet spaces are being built on the approx. 23,000 m² site. As a multi-temperature location, the logistics centre in Schweitenkirchen represents an important hub in the south of Germany and strengthens the connection to and from Austria.

With the new buildings in Nuremberg and Schweitenkirchen, the Nagel-Group will complete two exemplary modernisation projects in the coming year, in which both innovation and sustainability potentials are exploited to a high degree according to today’s standards: The effective energy management covers all relevant factors from building insulation to heat recovery and intelligent control of the refrigeration systems. Through comprehensive hermetisation of the cold stores, external heat ingress is minimized, thereby reducing the required cooling capacity.


With the progressive automation of the warehouses, the Nagel-Group is not only meeting the increasing challenges in the area of personnel, but is also contributing to securing the food supply in the future with these measures: At -23° C throughout, the climate in the deep-freeze warehouses is exceptional for the employees. Partially and fully automated processes make it easier for the skilled workers to work in the frozen food areas. The Nuremberg location, for example, has a fully automated high rack system that transports pallets independently from the ramp to the storage location. Connecting Value Added Services (VAS) are supported by taking the articles in the appropriate quantity from the warehouse and transporting them via autonomous conveyor systems directly to the respective service station, for example, to be shock-frozen or picked. This shortens the processes and significantly increases the turnover speed.

The cooling processes are also subject to permanent optimisation and modernisation measures. One of the Nagel-Group’s main concerns is to constantly improve and adapt the control of the refrigeration systems in order to achieve the maximum cooling capacity with the minimum amount of energy. Taking into account external influences such as temperature and humidity, all activities in the cold stores are therefore permanently monitored digitally. This includes, among other things, the automatic door opening and closing.

To ensure that the products reach the end customer in the highest quality, the cold chain must be maintained throughout the entire process chain. During transport, the insulation and the powerful refrigeration units of the trailers maintain the specified temperature limits. To ensure the most efficient and low-emission transport possible, the Nagel-Group relies on a modern fleet of vehicles: the tractor units are on average 1.5 years old. With its high location density, the logistics company ensures that food is always transported by the most direct route. This means that even short delivery times and intervals are reliably met.


At a time when frozen products are becoming increasingly important and demand is rising continuously, the Nagel-Group ensures that it can meet the growing demands. Significant investments in the entire infrastructure not only increase capacities and strengthen the network, but also promote the use of new technologies. The expansion and modernisation of locations such as Nuremberg and Schweitenkirchen are milestones on this path, with a focus not only on efficiency and innovation, but also on sustainability. With a clear view of economic, ecological and social aspects, the Nagel-Group is heading towards future-oriented food logistics.


[1] Quelle: Jubiläumsbroschüre „100 Jahre Tiefkühlung“, TK-Report Deutsches Tiefkühlinstitut, 2023, dti/SN-Verlag Hamburg

[2] Quelle: Absatzstatistik für Tiefkühlprodukte 2022, Deutsches Tiefkühlinstitut e. V.