Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and, true to tradition, AFKLMP Cargo will have shipped about 3,000 tonnes of flowers to Europe from leading production and export countries over a two-week period in January and February. The majority of the flowers shipped mainly concern the famous roses from Kenya, Ecuador and Colombia.
Using Boeing 747-400 full-freighters and combi-aircraft, the carrier was able to generate ample main deck capacity to and from three main flower starting points of Nairobi, Quito, and Bogotá. What’s more, the bellies of long-haul passenger aircraft and interline partners are well suited to carrying flowers to Europe. The greatest share of AFKLMP Cargo capacity is mainly intended to supply the European – primarily Dutch, English, Italian, French and Russian – and Asian, most notably Japanese, markets.
Transporting flowers is a delicate process. The quicker they are handled throughout the chain, 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 airline respects their delicate nature by constantly maintaining them within optimal temperature range.
To move flowers and plants seamlessly from grower to wholesaler, Royal FloraHolland, Schiphol Cargo, and Air France KLM Martinair 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.