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For better quality and efficiency:

US (CA): CalFlowers leads effort to standardize flower shipping boxes

CalFlowers, the California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers, announced major steps to standardizing the boxes used to ship flowers from the field to users, who include wholesalers and retailers.

CalFlowers, with participation by transportation carriers, growers, national floral associations and box suppliers, has been driving an effort to standardize boxes for several years. The standardization is in response to the use of more than 1,000 different box sizes that have become time-consuming and costly to manage for not only growers and shippers but for carriers, who are moving to electronic tracking and a hub-and-spoke transport model.

“Making the shipment of flowers more efficient will benefit growers and shippers as well as carriers by reducing the number and type of boxes that require purchase, inventory management, tracking and special handling,” said Robert Kitayama, president, CalFlowers board of directors. “We anticipate that this standardization effort will greatly benefit growers and shippers by making shipping simpler and help carriers by better adapting to today’s pallet-based transportation format.”

The group defined key steps to streamlining the number of box sizes used and how those are reported; defining box strength; ensuring standard boxes are efficient on trailers; and developing a standard for boxes for those flowers and greens not using existing box sizes.

The group also recommended that new standardized boxes be used in place of infrequently used box sizes.

“Standardizing the kinds of boxes and reducing the variety of sizes will make manufacturing, storing and shipping of floral product boxes much simpler and ultimately, less expensive. We are delighted with CalFlowers’ leadership to help make box standardization happen,” said Steve Clarke, sales manager for southern California at Robert Mann Packaging, Inc.

Growers and shippers can use existing box inventory. Once new standards are released and accepted in 2016, shippers will convert to the new, recommended standard box sizes, which will carry a CalFlowers seal of approval. Carriers will set policy as to handling exceptions. More information and updates will be provided in coming months.

CalFlowers’ mission is to strengthen member businesses through logistics, education and promotion to grow the use and enjoyment of cut flowers. More info on the association and its services and membership is at and on Instagram @CalifFlowers, #CalFlowers.
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