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South Africa: No blossoms for flower business

High hopes of King Shaka International Airport and Dube Tradeport boosting the cut flower industry are fading like the falling petals of a dying rose.

Yet, Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone CEO, Hamish Erskine said the TradePort has certainly played a role in growing KwaZulu-Natal’s perishable export market, which includes fresh flowers.

“Key to this growth has been the state-of-the-art logistics infrastructure, which includes the variable temperature trucking and handling facilities that are available to local growers, the packhouse and distribution centre that can handle the packing and sorting of perishables, along with a cargo terminal that houses all the regulatory authorities in a single facility in order to minimize processing times of highly perishable produce like fresh flowers,” said Erskine

“All this culminates to form a highly efficient supply chain, which is essential for the local fresh flower grower’s bottom line, as it helps them to become more competitive as they export their fresh flowers into regional and international markets.

Despite the impressive setup, Dube TradePort freight forwarding agent Morgan Cargo’s director for KZN, Cecil Leigh said most of the flower exports come from Cape Town or Johannesburg. “We only see about 300 kilograms of flowers sent twice a week from Durban to the Seychelles,” said Leigh.

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