Charters, where are you? Our sales went so well and our supply was varied and excellent for this Christmas season. Again, it was the shortage of air cargo space that turned out to be a major problem. What should have been the highlight of a successful year, unfortunately ended in disappointment. A cake without the icing.
Admittedly, with its short, violent peak and limited availability of air cargo space, Christmas has always been one of the more challenging flower days of the year. But after the positive campaigns of 2015 and 2016, we were hoping for another year of successful Christmas sales.
Supply was good, demand was good, but unfortunately, yet again, there wasn’t enough air cargo capacity to get everything transported on time. We weren’t able to find a single airline willing to schedule a few extra flights. Either because of shortage of aircrafts, or because of shortage of crew. And don’t underestimate the effect of the competition of Christmas gifts.
Unfortunately, it’s more beneficial for airlines to deliver Nespresso machines and mobile phones than a simple bunch of gypsophila or roses from South America. So, no extra flights. And when on top of all that, it starts to snow in the Netherlands and a few aircrafts are not flying because they’ve broken down, it’s hard not to think of Murphy’s Law.
While we’re struggling to get the air cargo space we need to our destinations in Europe and North America, we’ve lately been having the opposite problem with transport to Australia: how can we fill all the available space? What’s all that about? Australian authorities recently concluded that the number of living organisms in import shipments has been too high.
They announced that that needs to change. If it doesn’t, the production country runs the risk of losing its export permit for ever. Which would be disastrous of course. Thrips in particular, as a vector for diseases, is one of the worst spreading organisms. Since the warning came into place, Ecuadorian inspectors have been more stringent than ever before.
All checks are carried out at night at the airport, only few moments before the aircrafts take off, which means that rejected boxes can never be replaced the same evening. As a result, airfreight containers are often only half-full. And that while we’re desperate for space!
Victor van Dijk,
Area-manager South-America, FleuraMetz