Page 12 - Super Floral > February 2018
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                        PMA Hosts Forum to Address

                        Floral Transportation Challenges

                        By Becky Roberts

                          When Hurricane Irma        is more lucrative. What happens,   As the leading association
                        pummeled her way up the Florida   then, when fuel costs are rising   serving the floral industry, PMA
                        peninsula this past September, the   and availability is decreasing?  is committed to bringing thought
               SUPER FLORAL / FEBRUARY 2018
                        mighty Category 5 hurricane left                           leaders in the floral community
                        a swath of destruction from the   Some fresh-cut flower importers    together to examine the issues
                        Caribbean to the Carolinas.  now face longer wait times for   and identify possible solutions.
                                                     airfreight – sometimes three to    We know we are better equipped
                          The wind-and-rain assault   six days. They are also paying   to address these changes together,
                        caused property and crop damage   more for the space. Some larger   and look forward to connecting
                        and upheaval of power and trans-  importers are bypassing the    in Miami.
                        portation infrastructures. Irma   availability problem by chartering
                        also disrupted airfreight serving   planes to get their product to   We also know our industry has
                        the fresh-cut floral industry, and   market. Chartering is not a    made much progress over the
                        the impacts appear to be lasting.  cost-effective option, however,    years in terms of improved
                                                     for some smaller suppliers.   product quality, diversity of
                          Leading up to and during the                             product and longer vase life, and
                        storm, airlines diverted freight   So far the challenges haven’t   we are committed to helping our
                        planes carrying cut flowers   impacted suppliers’ ability to meet   industry ensure that bar remains
                        from Ecuador, Colombia and   customer orders, and quality, on   high and grow customer demand.
                        other points south to Miami. The   the whole, hasn’t suffered. None-
                        Florida hub handles more than 90   theless, the reality is clear that   At press time, the agenda
                        percent of fresh-cut floral imports   less frequent airfreight service will   for PMA’s floral transportation
                        from Latin America, and the fre-  have implications across the floral   challenge forum was still being
                        quency of airfreight runs carrying   supply chain that could impact the   finalized; however, discussion
                        flowers from south to north hasn’t   current business model.  topics will include airfreight and
                        returned to pre-Irma service levels                        sea-freight trends, what options
                        and likely won’t anytime soon.  Simply put: Logistics are    are available, and, on a high level,
                                                     changing. To address this topic,   what operational adjustments
                          Given that, some floral industry   the Produce Marketing    might be needed to adapt to
                        leaders call Irma the perfect   Association (PMA) will host    changing logistics. Also proposed
                        storm, noteworthy not only for its   an industry forum on floral    as a topic is addressing how recent
                        ferocity but also the fact its arrival   transportation challenges on    changes in trucking regulations
                        marked a tipping point of sorts in   Feb. 28 in Miami. PMA members   may impact the floral industry. n
                        how airfreight operates. Reasons   who are interested in attending
                        are many, including that other   can contact Becky Roberts,
                        cargo provides a higher profit   PMA director of floral, at               Becky Roberts
                        margin for airlines than trans-                        is the director
                        porting perishable products. It’s                                         of floral at the
                        also sometimes difficult for floral   The purpose of the forum is         Produce Mar-
                        suppliers to have enough product   to raise awareness of changing         keting Associa-
                        volume to fill a freight plane.  logistics in the floral industry         tion (PMA).
                                                     and to inform, educate and get               Contact her
                                                                                                  via email at
                          So, freight planes are often sent   the conversation going across or by phone at
                        to other destinations where the lift   the supply chain.   (302) 607-2148.
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