Inside Logistics

Flowers for everyone

A happy Valentine's Day thanks to good perishables handling


Happy Valentine's Day! (Photo: Lufthansa)

February 14, 2014
by MM&D Online staff

Lufthansa Cargo filled its freighters with flowers to ensure that millions of red roses were available on time for Valentine’s Day. In total, the cargo airline expected to fly around 1,000 tonnes of roses from warmer climes to Frankfurt this year.

The logistics process involved in transporting up to 90 tonnes of roses on a single flight is actually more environmentally friendly than growing the roses in Germany. According to a study conducted by Cranfield University in the UK, this would produce more CO2 as each individual flower needs artificial irrigation and an additional heat supply to grow.

Kenya, Colombia and Ecuador, whose capital, Quito, is also called the “City of Eternal Spring”, are the biggest exporters of roses. Lufthansa Cargo connects all of these flower-growing countries with the Frankfurt hub many times a week.

To ensure the exceptionally high demand on Valentine’s Day is met, special flights are arranged, in addition to the scheduled connections. Lufthansa Cargo has developed the special Fresh/td product specifically for the transportation of perishable goods such as flowers and food. The airline’s logistics, special refrigeration systems in the cargo hold and the expertise of the producers in the exporting countries ensure that the roses are fresh on arrival at their destinations.

Following harvesting, the flowers are taken as fast as possible from the plantation for packaging and then from there directly to aircraft. This ensures they still retain all their splendour on landing at Frankfurt Airport. Transport onwards to destinations all across Europe is coordinated from there.