Special moment in cooperation

Efficient loading for ‘Holland Flower Alliance’ at Schiphol Airport

Royal FloraHolland has been working with KLM Cargo and Schiphol Cargo since 2016 as part of the ‘Holland Flower Alliance’, whose objective is to strengthen the position of the Netherlands as a ‘preferred flower hub’. The key to this alliance is innovation, and together with our partners we work on process innovation and data exchange in the supply chains and packaging. We achieved excellent results in 2018, particularly in the packaging department.

In the floriculture supply chain between Kenya and the Netherlands, we currently use more than 300 different types of flower boxes, varying in quality and dimensions. This creates problems when stacking the boxes on aircraft pallets and causes quality loss. In efforts to improve the efficiency of the floriculture supply chain, ‘Holland Flower Alliance’ developed a new, sustainable packaging solution in 2018.

Load factor increases by 15%
Together with our supply chain partners, we tested the solution during multiple shipments. The results of the pilot project show high potential: the load factor increased by a solid 15%. We expect to officially launch the new packaging in early 2019.

Load capacity at Schiphol Airport
In addition to improving the load factors of cargo flights, we are also working hard on maintaining loading capacity at Schiphol Airport. During the 2018 Air Cargo Conference, we again raised the importance of air cargo for the floriculture industry in general and Royal FloraHolland in particular.
We also addressed the issue with the Ministry, members of the Dutch House of Representatives and the Schiphol management. Cargo flights currently account for less than 4% of all flights to and from Schiphol, including 20 full, weekly cargo flights carrying mostly flowers. Since Schiphol is close to reaching its capacity limits, cargo flights are being redirected to airports in Maastricht, Liege and elsewhere. Approximately 60% of flowers currently arrive at Schiphol Airport; unless specific measures are taken, we expect this percentage to fall to 40% or less. This has increased the time it takes for imported flowers to reach our marketplaces, even though Schiphol Airport has the required facilities and is located right beside our Aalsmeer site. In order to curb this trend, we are working with Evofenedex, the Dutch Association for Logistics and Transport, to maintain Schiphol’s current loading capacity.

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