February 14, 2018: For Valentine’s Day consumption Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP Cargo) shipped around 3,000 tonnes of flowers originating from well-known leading production and export countries like Kenya, Ecuador and Colombia to Europe. This shipment happened during a two-week period between January and February.

The operator used Boeing 747-400 full freighter and combination aircraft to generate additional main deck capacity to/from the three main flower origins Nairobi, Quito and Bogotá. The greatest share of this additional capacity is mainly intended to supply the European (primarily Dutch, English, Italian, French and Russian) and Asian (Japanese) markets.

Marcel de Nooijer, executive vice president Air France KLM Martinair Cargo said, “We are strongly committed to the flower market and successfully met seasonal peak flower demand again for this year’s Valentine’s Day.”

In 2017, AFKLMP Cargo shipped more than 50,000 tonnes of flowers from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ecuador and Colombia to Schiphol. Due to its favourable climate and high altitude, Kenya offers perfect growing conditions for roses. Most of the roses, known as ‘Rhodas, are red roses with stems averaging 30 to 50 centimetres in length.

Transporting flowers is a delicate process. The less often they are physically handled during their transportation, the longer they will maintain their beauty. The ideal situation is a stable logistics ‘cold chain’ that ensures quick and efficient transportation to keep the flowers as fresh as possible. During the flight, the cargo hold temperature is maintained at 2 to 8 Celsius degree.

To move flowers and plants seamlessly from growers to wholesalers, Royal FloraHolland, Schiphol Cargo and AFKLMP Cargo have initiated the ‘Holland Flower Alliance’ – an ambitious group of floricultural logistics professionals, dedicated to the pursuit of innovation and sustainability in the floral supply chain.

Amsterdam remains Europe’s logistics centre for the flower market, with Schiphol Airport as the world’s ‘preferred Flower Hub’, connecting all key production and consumer markets. Royal FloraHolland, located in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, is the largest trading centre for flowers in the world and plays a crucial role in onward distribution.

Read Full Article