CNBC Disruptor 50

3. Lineage Logistics

Founders: Kevin Marchetti, Adam Forste
CEO: Greg Lehmkuhl
Launched: 2012
Headquarters: Novi, Michigan
Funding:
$8.6 billion
Valuation: $25 billion
Key technologies:
Artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, deep neural networks/deep learning, Internet of Things, machine learning, robotics
Industry:
Logistics
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 1 (No. 17 in 2021)

Persephone Kavallines

Covid-19 vaccines may have grabbed the headlines when it comes to things that need to be kept cold, but a more immediate and long-term concern is what Lineage Logistics is focused on: food.

A shortage of food around the world is not the result of insufficient supply, but rather the inability to get it to where it needs to go before it goes bad. Nearly 25% of fruits and vegetables are lost globally, and North America is among the regions with the highest level of food waste. The World Bank estimates global food waste to be a $2.5 trillion problem.

That's where Lineage Logistics comes in. Its mission is to transform the food supply chain by operating a global network of temperature-controlled cold-storage facilities for proteins, bakery products, dairy, and fruits and vegetables. It "blast freezes" cold air at temperatures as low as -25 to -35 Fahrenheit on up to 5 million pounds of product a day at a single facility. It then combines that proprietary solution with the ability to design warehouse racks that store products as efficiently as possible.

Lineage operates 400 facilities, totaling more than 2 billion cubic feet of capacity, in 19 countries across North America, Europe, South America, and Asia Pacific. In April it acquired Canada-based VersaCold, adding another 114 million cubic feet of storage. The VersaCold acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022. It follows the company's recent acquisition of MTC Logistics, which added locations along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts.

To date, the company — which has raised $8.6 billion in funding — has acquired over 70 companies and grown its real estate by 60% annually since its first warehouse in 2008.

Sign up for our weekly, original newsletter that goes beyond the annual Disruptor 50 list, offering a closer look at list-making companies and their innovative founders.