The cold supply chain of the flower industry is complex and depends on the smooth progress of the entire process. Flowers are often planted in places like Colombia and must then be transported by plane to the United States, through customs, to cold storage, and then to flower shops or grocery stores, and eventually to consumers. Every step in this complex process can occur faults. Flowers are so delicate and they always rely on the right temperature to stay tender and beautiful.
“In a flower-selling festival, a truck usually carries 700 to 800 boxes. The retail price of each box is about 200 dollars. If there is a problem with logistics, it may have a serious impact on these flowers and cause a huge loss. More importantly, social needs cannot be met.” said David Hartstein, CEO of KaBloom.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is currently a hot topic and it is becoming a key part of the supply chain. The cold chain should include technology to monitor factors like temperature, humidity and location of product along the chain. The IoT technology allows us to master the perishable goods scientifically, have the best freshness preservation capabilities and improve the efficiency of the delivery process. It also ensures to maintain the best status of flowers throughout the entire transportation process from the picking grounds to the consumers. Vendors will also know where their goods are and they can make adjustments if the supply is delayed or failed.
“Industry experts point out that, on average, 40% of the flowers are wasted due to the unsalable flowers, which is equivalent to an annual loss of 1.04 billion dollars. If the IoT is introduced into the cold supply chain, as long as the waste is reduced by 10%, it will also save more than 100 million dollars,” said David Bairstow, Vice President of Skyhook Products.