Kenyan flower farm Oserian recently started to ship flowers from one of their customers with a new packaging concept called Cargolite. This concept prevents the boxes from crushing and can save considerable amounts of money in shipping costs.

John Kowarsky at the IFTEX in Nairobi, Kenya

After conducting several trials, Oserian and one of their customers will start using the Cargolite concept for their flower shipments. According to John Kowarsky, CEO of the company, as the farms and logistic players get more experienced in working with the Cargolite packaging concept, they expect more farms to join in and begin to use this new and innovative packaging concept.

Cargolite departing from origin

The concept
When designing the Cargolite, Kowarsky wanted to meet four principles: removing the load from the carton walls, reducing carton weight, increasing pack rate and improving stackability. "In order to remove the load from the carton wall, each Cargolite carton is equipped with two polypropylene frames and each frame consists of four vertical columns that are connected to each other with upper and lower laterals. These frames, which are also used to hold the cartons ergonomically in a horizontal position, divert the weight of the flowers away from the carton's walls and support each carton separately", says Kowarsky.

"And with the weight diverted away from the carton's walls, it is no longer necessary to use heavy five ply boards; a much lighter, 3 ply board is enough. With the frames holding the cartons from collapsing, less packaging materials are required to protect the flowers," says Amnon Zamir. As a result, more stems can be packed and the weight of the carton is considerably reduced, which meets the second and third principle.

Finally, Kowarsky was 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. Furthermore, the cartons arrive at the airport on skids, therefore minimizing the handling of each carton numerous times when loading the air pallet, and then again when offloading at the destination.

Cargolite arriving at destination

Better cooling and lower carbon footprint
And unlike regular boxes, which are often stacked densely, the Cargolite frames create a space between the cartons, making it ideal for the cold air to flow between the boxes. Moreover, according to Kowarsky and his colleague, Amnon Zamir, Cargolite also has a lower carbon footprint than regular boxes, as the cartons require much less paper and the cartons contain more flowers. Therefore, fewer cartons are required. And fewer cartons also mean fewer trucks, fewer planes, lower emissions and so on. "So all in all, a improved carbon footprint," concludes Kowarsky.

Cargolite will exhibit their packaging concept in the Afrex stand A4.09 at the IFTF exhibition on 2-4 November, 2016.

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John Kowarsky