Cargolite shaping the future of flower packaging

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More stems can be packed and the weight of the carton is considerably reduced – Guy symondson

By GEORGE ACHIA

Nairobi, May 7,2018.The future of flower packing is set to change for the better with introduction of a new innovative packaging system that delivers significant savings in air freight, by packing more flowers per air pallet and improve in general the quality of the product before arriving at destination.

Developed by a Nairobi-based, Cargolite, the developers of this innovative technology wanted to meet four principles that would go a long way in improving the transportation of flowers ;removing the load from the carton walls, reduce the carton weight, increase the pack rate and improve the stack ability.

“In order to remove the load from the carton wall, each Cargolite carton is equipped with two polypropylene frames and each frame consists of two vertical columns that are connected to each other with upper and lower laterals. These frames, which are also used to hold the cartons in a horizontal position, divert the weight of the flowers away from the carton’s walls and support each carton separately”, explains Guy Symondson, Cargolite’s East Africa representative.

“And with the weight diverted away from the carton’s walls, it is not necessary to use heavy five ply boards. In addition, with the frames holding the cartons from collapsing, less packaging materials are required to protect the flowers,” he adds.

As a result, more stems can be packed and the weight of the carton is considerably reduced, which meets the second and third principle. The developer was also able to meet his fourth principle, stackability, as the projections of one frame fit into the cavities of the frame above it.
“This makes the boxes on the air pallet very stable and enables the flowers to arrive at their destination without any damage”, he says.

After many years of trading in cut flowers from many different countries, it was clear to the developer, John Kowarsky, the CEO of Cargolite, that there was an urgent need to improve the packing materials used in transporting cut flowers from one country to another. Consequently, in 2013, he began to develop the idea of a new packaging concept that would solve the problems of standardization, and the damage to flowers from crushing cartons.

“The solution at the time would always be to increase the strength of the carton, thus increasing the weight of the packing material. This solution incurred extra expense for packing materials and air freight,” explains Guy.

The vision was to create a standardized carton that would avoid the crushing of the cartons at the bottom of the pallet and produce a carton that would weigh less than the regular carton in order to minimize the cost of air freight.
“In 2016, we began supplying the Cargolite carton to IPL and Oserian and the concept has been very successful as all flowers that are sent by Oserian to the auction are now being transported in Cargolite cartons,” he says.

Kenyan flower farm Oserian recently started to ship their flowers through this concept, saving the company up to 8000 USD for every 1 million stems transported to
Europe.

After conducting several trials, Oserian is the first farm that started to use the Cargolite concept for their flower shipments.

According to Guy, as the farms and logistic players get more experience in working with the Cargolite packaging concept, they expect more farms to join in and begin to use this new and innovative packaging concept.

And unlike regular boxes, which are often stacked densely, the Cargolite frames create a space between the cartons which make it ideal for the cold air to flow between the boxes. Moreover, Cargolite also has a lower carbon footprint than regular boxes as the cartons require much less paper and the cartons contain more flowers. This according to the developers will enhance the sustainability practice in the flower industry.

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