Valentine’s Day: Tales from the Crypt or Your Freight Update

Blogger: David Dahlson


Well, not actually the crypt but from the depths of the frigid coolers in Quito I can report on the chaos that is happening at the cargo agencies, as well as the delinquency at the companies who palletize the flowers for the airlines.

Generally speaking all the flowers from the farms are delivered to the freight-forwarders’ coolers. Each customer uses a freight forwarder to consolidate the cargo from the farms, which in turn is then delivered to the airport where it enters one of several palletizing companies who prepare the loads for the airlines. When the volumes are this high, as is usual at Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day, the capacity to handle, refrigerate and deliver in a timely fashion becomes particularly strained. This year estimates put the amount of flowers at about 10% higher than last year, and the trade association Expoflores puts it as high as 13%. In fact on Saturday night three freight forwarders collapsed under the load and the palletizing operation was severely compromised.

This situation is a direct result of the people who control the airport to allow some freight forwarders to share the coolers of the palletizing companies. In the USA this would never be allowed as they are supposed to be bonded, secure and segregated from other commercial interests. I do not think that it takes much imagination to conjecture how such arrangements may have been made. The conflict of interest and the paralyzing consequences have never been so apparent as this year.


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