Sea transport of cut flowers
Flowers can be transported by sea container and maintain excellent quality. How is this possible?
The cost of transport to Europe is the main expense faced by fresh cut flower growers in Kenya. If successfully developed, sea transport can make the Kenyan-Dutch supply chain more competitive and can improve profitability. Attracted by the potential of low cost logistics, various parties all over the world have shown interest in sea transport of flowers and organised trial shipments. Over the past couple of years, much has been learned and while some trials failed others have developed into regular supply lines. The number of steady lines from Kenya and other African countries to the European market is still growing.
Reasons for Success
- Selection of flowers of good initial quality
- Harvesting the flowers at the right stage
- Optimized pretreatment and packaging method
- Optimal climate and transport conditions from harvest to arrival at the retailer
Only when the cool chain and other conditions from the breeder to the wholesaler’s box are under good control, can sea transport be viable, and the quality be maintained during long transport periods.