Colombian flowers successfully shipped by sea to Holland

Mid-October saw the arrival of ten sea containers full of flowers, including carnations and Alstroemeria, from Colombia. FloraHolland was closely involved in the operation, as Chain logistics adviser Christo van der Meer explains.

"Maritime transportation is more sustainable (75 percent less CO2 emissions) and more affordable (by fifty percent) than by air,"says Van der Meer. "FloraHolland is participating in this method of shipment given its function as an international trade platform. We have conducted extensive research, in collaboration with two universities, banana producer Chiquita and our own Product Quality Knowledge Centre. For instance we examined the atmospheric composition in sea containers, as this has a major influence on the product quality. We can now guarantee a minimum vase life of seven days after arrival. The constant temperature in sea containers (0.5°C) is an important advantage. In transportation by air the temperature can fluctuate between 2°C and 14°C. The constant temperature helps keep the plants in good condition, even though the journey is two weeks longer.

Even the closest inspection shows no sign ofBotrytis or other damage

International growers and customers are open to maritime transportation, as long as the vase life remains unaffected. Transport by sea from Colombia will grow to an average of three containers per week. We are also organising a test maritime shipment of roses from Kenya, with the eventual goal of shipping by sea from there as well."

Source: FloraHolland Magazine november 2013

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