Modern reefer and controlled-atmosphere containers could enable a modal shift in the cut-flower segment – until now almost exclusively handled by air – to cheaper and less-polluting transport.

In static tests by the Taiwan Floriculture Exports Association and Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, a Daikin Active CA (controlled atmosphere) container was able to keep a shipment of Oncidium orchids in shelf condition for 18 days.

Like other reefer types, the Daikin container is flushed with nitrogen to displace oxygen, a method that also generates positive gas pressure inside the box to prevent any air from getting in.

Grown largely in equatorial countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Kenya, thanks to the lower energy costs for greenhouses, cut flowers need a fast turnaround and are largely flown to economies in the global north.