Inside Logistics

Roses on a journey

Lufthansa Cargo is flying millions of red roses for Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2015
by MM&D Online Staff

Frankfurt, Germany—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wrote that the most beautiful sentiments are expressed through flowers. People all over the world will declare their love through roses on Valentine’s Day this Saturday.

Lufthansa Cargo is flying freighters laden with roses at the moment to ensure the long-stemmed flowers arrive on time to bloom in all their glory in vases right across Europe.

Lufthansa’s cargo arm is transporting around 1,500 tonnes of these delicate goods this year, most originating in Kenya or South America. These countries have the ideal climate for cultivating these flowers all year round, offering the best growing conditions.

Sophisticated logistics ensure that the roses are transported to their destination as quickly and carefully as possible from where they are cultivated. The roses are harvested several times a day at the flower farms and then immediately placed in water and cooled. Following sorting and packing, the flowers are taken directly to the airport and loaded onto the freighters.

Lufthansa Cargo connects the flower-growing countries with the Frankfurt hub several times a week. And special charter flights are arranged in addition to the scheduled connections at this time each year in order to serve the high demand for Valentine’s Day. The cargo airline has developed the special Fresh/td product specifically for the transportation of perishable goods such as flowers and food.

The flowers only remain in Frankfurt Airport for a short while. Just a few hours after landing, the roses are transported onwards from there out into all of Europe.

A study conducted by Cranfield University in the UK has proven that it is more environmentally-friendly to transport roses from afar than to grow them in Europe. Transport by air generates less CO2 than the artificial irrigation and additional heat supply that would be required to cultivate them in Europe.