Cargolite makes headway

Lightweight packaging concept saves up to 2 kg of weight per box of roses

"We see fewer transport damages, can handle and unpack the flowers more efficiently and improve our ecological footprint", says Matthias Haudenschild of Agrotropic when talking about the Cargolite packaging concept. This Swiss importer of flowers and cut foliage started using Cargolite in October 2020 and now, the majority of the flowers they order are packed in the Cargolite cartons. After unpacking, they compress and recycle them. "The beauty of it is, that it is a win-win for all the involved parties along the supply chain."

On the left: Cargolite pallet. On the right: roses packed in Cargolite box without SFKs

Reducing shipping costs
Cargolite was introduced in 2016 and since the very beginning, the interest for this product has been high. Oserian was the first grower in Kenya who trialed it and started to use it. In the years that followed, more and more farms followed, particularly over the last year. "Due to the corona pandemic crisis, the shipping cost per kilo in some cases doubled, and today a lightweight packaging solution can be more valuable than ever", says John Kowarsky CEO of Cargolite. When designing the concept, one of the objectives was to decrease the weight of the packaging materials. "This goal was attained with the introduction of plastic frames which enabled using lighter materials for the carton itself (3 ply instead of 5), and since the frames kept the cartons from crushing, the SFKs were now obsolete. With these improvements, Cargolite cartons are able to save up to 2kg of weight per carton."

Quality of roses on arrival to customer from Kenya. 

Quality is better
Besides the decrease in weight and transport costs, the quality of the flowers improves too, and this combination makes it a more attractive concept for both the importer and grower. However, as the airfreight costs in Kenya usually fall on the importer, many farms did not seem to be very keen to make changes. But, when they realized that the quality of the product improves and the customer starts asking for it, the interest among growers started to rise as well."

Currently, 35 Kenyan farms are using Cargolite and Martin Kabaka , Cargolite's Marketing and Sales Manager in Kenya is pleased how well the concept is being picked up. "The farms adapt very well to the Cargolite concept after a very short time of using it."

So, how is the concept increasing the quality? According to Amnon Zamir (R&D), the quality of the flowers improves due to several reasons. "First of all, the proprietary plastic frames prevent crushing of the cartons,  enabling each carton to be independent regardless of its position on the pallet! The concept also provides better air circulation between the cartons. On top of that, less handling of the cartons is required. All in all, this results in flowers that arrive to their destination with improved quality and offer a longer shelf life." 

Quality of roses on arrival to customer from Kenya. 

Reducing the carbon footprint
Another important asset of the Cargolite cartons is in respect of sustainability. "The frames are made from 100% high grade recycled plastic collected in Kenya and they are sent by the unpackers for further recycling. Cargolite packaging for flowers, with its lighter weight and increased pack rate properties requires less paper pulp than the regular boxes. Cargolite is the only packaging for cut flowers on the market today that actively reduces the carbon footprint to 18% less than with the regular cartons."

Agrotropic recycles the frames, just like they do with their cartons. "After unpacking, they can have more lives, therefore, we compress and recycle them. After all with this concept, there is zero wastage of packing materials  "

A win-win for all links in the supply chain 
According to Haudenschild, the Cargolite concept is a win-win for all the involved parties along the supply chain. "I like the efficiency in handling, the improvement of quality and the ecological impact by less packaging and fuel consumption in airfreight.”

Currently, the majority of Agrotropic's roses from Kenya are shipped with the Cargolite concept and they are eager to scale up this concept as much as possible in the future. 

For more information
John Kowarsky
T: + 972 52 3282100

Amnon Zamir
T: + 972 52 6383737

Martin Kabaka
T: + 254 722 309 318                

agrotropic AG  

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