From Kenya To The World – Flowers By Ocean


Produce shipped by ocean helped Sian Flower overcome the pandemic-related volatility in air freight charges and further its sustainability objectives.

The customer

Leading rose and summer flower grower Sian Flowers exports its blooms to Europe, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia.

For adopting strict sustainability standards, such as restricting the use of pesticides and practising water conservation and treatment, the company has received regional and global recognition. Sian also holds a Fair Trade Certification and places a high value on the well-being of the community and workers.

The challenge

Sian Flowers’ supply lines, particularly those in Europe, were impacted by the Covid-19 epidemic, as were those of other market participants.

There were fewer planes going to western markets, and since there wasn’t much room on board, it was challenging to fit Sian’s complete cargo, which led to food being wasted. Additionally, air freight charges had risen to an unaffordable level, which affected margins.

Daily obstacles were also interfering with the smooth flow of their delicate flowers; numerous stops between the farm and the port endangered the vase life of their cut flowers.

Despite these problems, Sian was dedicated to eco-friendly activities and thought they needed to discover ways to lessen their carbon imprint.

The Maersk solution

The team from Maersk in Kenya developed an end-to-end cold chain solution that made it simple to transport the cut flowers by ship rather than by aeroplane from Mombasa to Rotterdam.

These included:

  • A cold room facility in Nairobi
  • Cold storage of loose cartons in cages
  • Palletisation, stuffing and booking services
  • Trucking from Alpha to Mombasa
  • Customs brokerage at Mombasa and Rotterdam
  • Trucking from Rotterdam port to Aalsmeer
  • Deconsolidation services in the Netherlands (de-stuffing, sorting and storage)

Maersk shipping vessels run twice weekly from Mombasa to Rotterdam, transporting the chilled cargo in controlled atmosphere (CA) containers that give Sian control over the container’s gas levels while their flowers are being transported on the ship.

Captain Peter, Maersk’s in-house digital visibility assistance, provides Sian with remote monitoring of the container’s temperature and humidity levels throughout the journey, allowing them to take action to keep the conditions of the CA containers stable. The reliability of our ocean scheduled times, which we guarantee, and the provision of long-term freight rates, which could provide Sian with financial stability in a volatile environment, are two of the most crucial features of the ocean solution and conducive to maintaining the freshness of the flowers upon arrival at the destination.

The result

Fewer touchpoints and a single point of contact have allowed Sian’s delicate flowers to move throughout Kenya safely and dependably. Space is allotted for all of their cargo aboard Maersk’s Ocean vessels, which have emerged as a competitive alternative to air freight.

Flowers are constantly delivered fresh to the Netherlands, where logistics are expertly planned to guarantee that the flowers reach markets on schedule and have a long vase life. With water transportation, Sian has also been able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 90%.

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Source: Maersk