Posted on :Wednesday , 16th September 2020
Coronavirus pandemic has made cost-cutting a top priority, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Circular Alliance has found a desirable way to ship all kinds of cargo in a sustainable manner.
The Alliance created an opportunity to help Kenya go greener. Roos Bakker, director of business development for cargo explained â€œPlastic is a big problem in Kenya. So the Alliance has established its manufacturing process, which will recycle local plastic to make the boxes. We have a great solution, but growers, handlers and airlines must embrace it,â€™ she quoted. In the past, it was challenging to get an entire chain to change and adopt a new way of working. Visit growers in Kenya to promote the new boxes had been put on hold because of the Pandemic, but Bakker says she is willing to pick up the initiative again.
At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol cargo consists of about 35 % of flower import. By standardising box sizes and making them from recycled plastics, the Alliance has set goal to reduce product importersâ€™ carbon footprint by 25 percent, and at the same time to increase their profitability by 25 percent.The boxes and pallets last for five to seven years, and can then be recycled to create new boxes and pallets for another five years of usage, thereby reducing waste.
Since Flowers comes in all shapes and sizes, the freshness is maintained in specific conditions. When they are shipped overseas, this can mean missed opportunities. â€œBecause of the different shapes and sizes of flower boxes, freight planes can only fill to about half of their full capacity,â€ she noted. â€œThis means double the flights than necessary to ship cargo. In addition, the boxes are prone to condensation, and are only used once.â€ A prototype flower box that is strong, durable and resistant to condensation.
Adopting the new boxes is not narrowed down to the flower industry alone. The new designs will also prove successful when other sectors like the fashion industry or product manufacturers, recognise the benefit of the boxes and adopt them as well.
Recycled plastic pallets proves benefitial over their wooden substitutes. These are stronger, last longer, and do not absorb water. â€œWet wooden pallets add unnecessary weight to the total freight,â€ she explained, â€œSo using plastic ones also means more cargo can fit on the plane. And they are reusable for years, so the reduction in waste is very significant.â€
The Allianceâ€™s production lab in Munich is ready to begin prototyping boxes and pallets in any shape, size or strength.