Dec 20, 2018: After a successful two-month trial on the Nairobi, Africa to Amsterdam, Netherlands route, Holland Flower Alliance (HFA) has moved to phase II of the Ideal Flowerbox project.

With the support from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, HFA is working towards implementing the flowerbox, a standardised box and pallet to make the shipment of flowers more efficient and sustainable.

At the recently concluded Flower Logistics Africa 2018 held at Nairobi, Christo van der Meer, senior consultant supply chain innovation at Royal FloraHolland spoke on the subject, ‘From flower box to new packaging concept: How cooperation leads to efficiency and sustainability in the floral logistics supply chain’. He mentioned that in the last couple of years’ discussion done at FLA for standardised boxes has propelled to introduce phase II of the Ideal Flowerbox.

Van der Meer, who led the pilot project task force and is preparing for the second phase of the trial, said, “The project started as a workshop with many growers, airlines, box producers and freight forwarders for finding new packaging concepts and identifying the issues in the current boxes."

During the trial-run, the project has increased the weight on airline pallets of flower shipments by 15 percent, resulting in a more efficient and sustainable process for transporting flowers – a key commodity for the economy of the Netherlands.

“The shipment of flowers is an important activity at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, so we are very supportive of the Ideal Flowerbox project and we are excited about the initial trial results showing how the box can improve sustainability in the supply chain,” said Roos Bakker, director business development, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Christo van der Meer, senior consultant supply chain innovation, Royal FloraHolland; and Parit Shah, director, Silpack

(L-R): Parit Shah, director, Silpack; and Christo van der Meer, senior consultant supply chain innovation, Royal FloraHolland

The Ideal Flowerbox project was launched to reduce unused space between flower boxes and pallets on shipments by introducing a standardised size, and to increase sustainability in the flower supply chain.

“We actively encourage innovation within the air cargo community, and we believe that collaboration with the HFA partners will continue to yield positive results for all stakeholders involved in the shipment of flowers," she said.

The project is funded by the HFA, which is an alliance between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KLM Cargo, and Royal FloraHolland.

“The results show that with the use of the Ideal Flowerbox we are able to optimise the aircraft’s load factor, which is beneficial for a sustainable and efficient operation,” van der Meer said.

Pending a successful second phase of the trial, the HFA will evaluate the results and consider implementing the Ideal Flowerbox on more flower shipment routes in 2019.

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