Just before the Covid 19 epidemic and the lock downs in Europe started, I visited both South Africa and Kenya.
I recall the concerns beginning to appear at the airports on my way to South Africa and then to Kenya. My optimism led me to believe that soon all would return to normal, and today, in retrospect, I will be very frank to say that I had no idea at all what the corona virus had in store for us all, worldwide!!!
At Cargolite™, despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, we have managed to recover, and I can say without any doubt that Cargolite is well established in the Kenyan flower industry.
AGROTROPIC JOINS THE CARGOLITE FAMILY
The Flower carton by Cargolite, is now being used by 29 farms in Kenya. This is an increase of over 30 % from the times before Covid 19 and we can expect even more farms to join in the near future.
After several months of discussions with Agrotropic of Switzerland, Matthias made the decision to move over from regular cartons to the Cargolite concept. We are honoured that such a prestigious company has made this decision and we are working very closely with the Agrotropic team in Switzerland and the farms in Kenya to make this changeover successful.
Matthias Haudenschild, CEO of Agrotropic described the Cargolite packaging concept in the following words:
“in view of the actual challenges in airfreight, good ideas to improve efficiency are needed. Cargolite offers an integral approach along the entire supply chain. The beauty of it is that this truly smart concept offers a win win for everybody.”
Air pallet of Cargolite cartons on its way to Agrotropic
NEW CARGOLITE CARTON WITHOUT PLASTIC
Furthermore, Cargolite was approached in June of 2020, from one of our Cargolite users in the UK, to investigate ways to reduce the amount of plastics used in the Cargolite packaging concept. This particular exporter had also decided to review the whole packaging concept used by them and went into a month-long trial to check and evaluate the different cartons. Parallel to these trials, Cargolite has developed a new version of the Cargolite flower carton which takes into consideration the new demands of the British government to reduce the use of plastic materials despite the fact that the Cargolite plastic parts are already made of 100% recycled material and can be recycled more and more.
The design is now finalized and trials to determine the efficiency of this new Cargolite carton are nearing completion. We will launch the new version very soon. The design is derived from the already patented Cargolite® design, where the walls of the carton are supported with a similar concept to the plastic frames but produced from a specially laminated reinforced cardboard that assures the vertical support needed for the Cargolite packaging concept.
The new version- Cargolite XL- will also enable the farms to increase the quantity of roses in the carton and on the pallet, and be more cost efficient from an air freight point of view.
Cargolite XL will be more flexible to load and extract cartons from the pallet.
a look at the new cargolite XL
the carton after arrival to Europe
Just before the Covid 19 pandemic in started in March, Cargolite introduced the newly designed Cargolite HERBOX to several Kenyan herb growers. The innovative design introduced horizontal airducts which allow the circulation of cold air evenly through all the HERBOX cartons on the air pallet.
The air ducts, that can be shut or open according to type of the herb in the carton and the cold chain requirements, improve the shelf life of the product. Furthermore, the special design reduces the temperature inside the box and allows packing basil in a smaller space than the standard boxes, benefiting the airway bill payers who pay volumetric. In addition, the HERBOX in its different versions is lighter than the standard packaging used today, benefiting those who pay actual weight.
Implementing the HERBOX has had its challenges. Logistics from the different farms have created difficulties, and in quite a few cases, due to really bumpy roads, we have had to make the HERBOX more resilient to travel from the farm to JKIA.
The HERBOX 6, the version that packs 6 kgs of herbs in one carton, is more cost-efficient for the grower and has the same “shut and open” vents to cool the herbs like all other versions of HERBOX. The Herbox6 is currently being used successfully by Jaganath Farms and minimizing heating problems caused by using the standard method of packing.
A skid with Herbox 6 at arrival to Holland
Gurvin Bassi the General Manager of the JAGGANATH farm has commented on the Cargolite Herbox:
“We shipped out the product to some of our customers in the UK and in Holland and things had started to move in the right direction with little tweaks being made based on feedback received from the clients. We observed on average a consistent drop of 4 - 8 degree difference (depending on the product) between the standard boxes and the HERBOX sent on the same flight to the same client. And then in March this year all the trials came to a standstill as the pandemic started to take hold in Europe.
Even in these trying times we managed to ship over 25T of Basil into South Africa over the summer this year, using this box and I must say the results were very impressive. Not even one Kg of product was rejected. The product all arrived in good condition and we had a very good experience.
The herb box 6 was introduced a couple of months back - A more sturdier and cost effective box that addressed the high cost problem. (The Cargolite team listened to the feedback!). This is in essence a 6Kg master carton box. We have been using this box for one of our biggest customers in Holland who uses this box for his customers in Sweden, Poland, and Germany. So far this box is the best that we have seen in the market in respect to managing the cold chain for Herbs at an affordable cost.”
Air pallet with HERBOX masters arriving to South Africa
Cargolite will continue to design and adapt to the flower and herb industry’s needs, with the intention of finding solutions for the problems that the farms and their importers are challenged on a day to day basis
We wish you all a merry Christmas and a much better year than the last one!
all the best from the CARGOLITE Team.