Shipping flowers has always been a challenge. Cooling capacities are not always within reach and it is also difficult to control humidity. As a result, the lifespan of the flowers may be shortened or they may suffer from botrytis. By using Ice Pack XL and Flower-dry these problems can be prevented. In this way, the temperatures and humidity for a particular product can be adjusted better.
Inter Fresh Concepts from Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands is a specialist in providing these kind of solutions. “Our company has its origins in trading and shipping of flowers all over the world,” says Leon Hoogervorst, director at Inter Fresh Concepts. "We can therefore provide the customer with fast, practical solutions or advice."
Solution for outside the cold store
The ice packs from Inter Fresh Concepts are mainly used to guarantee the quality of flowers at varying temperatures. This can happen, for example, during cross-docking, where the products have to wait for the next truck or at the airport terminal before the cargo is loaded into the belly of the aircraft. “With the icepacks the temperature can be guaranteed permanently during the entire trip. We also use thickened ice for our ice packs, which means that we can cool for more than 24 hours, which is double the normal cooling period with regular cooling products. In addition, Ice Pack XL is a flexible cooling product that does not cause condensation, contrary to gel packs. For air transport we also make extensive use of insulating pallet sleeves that protect the goods against temperature changes.”
In addition to protection against temperature changes, Inter Fresh Concepts also has solutions to reduce the relative humidity. “Our Flower-dry sheets are absorbers to combat botrytis. With Flower-dry, the relative humidity can be reduced to below 80%”, according to Leon.
In recent months, the company has seen an increasing demand from the retail sector for such cooling products “The coronavirus has resulted in a growth of online orders at supermarkets. The major retailers deliver these orders to the door, often in vans that are not air conditioned. With the cooling elements, however, these products can be kept cool sufficiently long and with the advantage that the products can be reused. During a week-long heat wave we've had this summer, we even saw a peak in demand. Many traders wanted to use cooling elements for more certainty. Both for quality and the for controls of the NVWA.”
A theme that Inter Fresh Concepts also focuses on is sustainability. “We are now mainly engaged in developing climate neutral packaging solutions. Recently we also have the EcoCoolBox in addition to the Ice Pack Eco. This is an insulated box with the same insulation properties as those of EPS, but made of 100% cardboard.”