This is the journey your valentine bouquet will make


It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and that means rush hour at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Did you know that those red roses you buy for your sweetheart have travelled a very long way indeed? These flowers often wing their way here from countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Colombia or Ecuador, where the climate is ideal for cultivation year round. But how do you ensure flowers stay beautiful during such a long journey – and after? For Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, this is now a piece of cake.

If you want to be fast, be smart
It can be tricky to keep flowers fresh during such a long journey and guarantee that they stay beautiful for some time after. The key is keeping them cool in-flight. The temperature must remain constant in the cargo hold: between two and seven degrees Celsius, but that is not as easy as it may sound. Particularly when different-sized boxes are stacked on top of each other. For this reason Holland Flower Alliance, a collaboration between Royal FloraHolland, KLM Cargo and Schiphol Cargo, decided to map the journey taken by flowers in order to optimise it. The solution: a smart crate for flowers.

Compact and cool
Last year we transported approximately 3,300 tonnes of flowers around Valentine’s Day. During these peak times we want to ensure we make optimum use of cargo holds. For example, all smart flower crates have the same size and fit perfectly on pallets. This allows us to prevent having excess space and the first pilots have shown that over 15% more cargo can be loaded on board. But that is far from the only advantage. Air circulation in smart crates has also been improved. This keeps all flowers cool, no matter how many crates we stack together.

To Russia with love
Once flowers arrive at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, they are transported to the flower auctions in Aalsmeer, Naaldwijk and Rijnsburg in mere hours. Customers come to pick them up or they are loaded onto another aircraft, to be sent to Thailand, for example. You see, most flowers do not have the Netherlands as their final destination. It is therefore even more crucial that they stay cool. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol celebrates yet another flowery peak shortly after Valentine’s Day: International Women’s Day on 8 March. Around this time countless bouquets pass through our airport on their way to Russia, by air or by land. The latter is a two-day journey and teams of chauffeurs drive non-stop in refrigerated trucks to bring Russian ladies the stunning bouquets they will enjoy for quite some time!