Wednesday Feb 28 Miami
PMA (Produce Marketing Association) The Floral Council of PMA held a meeting today with floral industry leaders to discuss a number of industry issues.
PMA’s floral efforts have been off and on over many years but for sure now they are a huge player in the Supermarket floral World. Only they could attract the likes of Wallmart, Albertsons and approx 80 industry members to a meeting like this.
The topics were presented by 4 speakers
Steve Daum of Floralife
Long time industry veteran Steve gave us a history lesson about Why Flowers from South America make sense.
He gave stats like there are 40,000 acres of greenhouse floral production in South America between Colombia and Ecuador. Colombia employs 140,000 and Ecuador 103,000 labor working in Floral.
Christine Bolt, AFIF (Association of Floral Importers of Florida)
She stated that 90% of the floral goods arriving into the US come via Miami vs 5% LAX and 3% JFK
Miami International has 445,000 sq ft of cooler space on the airport.
AFIF has worked with the various governmental organizations that control the flow of goods with much success in streamlining the importation process. The “line Release” program pioneered here in Miami, allows certain low risk flower types to be imported without regular inspection. As well the airlines act as brokers for the goods on the cargo aircraft so that one entity is involved in clearing the cargo for import.
Felipe Sanchez of CargoMaster
He discussed the ever growing trend to ship flowers via ship container. With freight rates rising and logistics being more challenging than ever, the move to ocean has become more and more viable.
Containers full of certain flowers have been and continue to be shipped out of South America and Africa to far away destinations in Asia and other ports. Some taking 15 or more days at sea while South America to the US is 3 5 days port to port.
Filiepe says that ocean will never replace air but there are opportunities in Ocean.
Micheal Fullman of CH Robinson
He talked about the huge driver shortage in the trucking industry where some 250,000 drivers are needed today.
The new ELD or Elog that is now in effect has made the recruitment job even harder. The days of life on the open road, where drivers were more like cowboys, are gone. Now with technology drivers and trucks are well monitored and regulated.
His best suggestion was to be a Shipper/Receiver of choice. That is when a trucking company and its drivers like doing business with you. Bottom line is that carriers will be in more demand then ever and will get to choose between cargo and companies they like and those that are a hassle.
This was followed by a Q & A discussion with the same four speakers.
There were two questions that I found worth mentioning.
Would Standardized box sizes save time and money? The general answer was time yes, money maybe. But a good idea.
The Wallmart representative was concerned about the future logistics troubles since traffic getting in and out of Miami was getting worse.
My response was that there is a serious effort underway in Clewiston Florida called the Airglades International Airport. This airport is being prepared to accept cargo planes from South America specifically to move cargo and congestion out of Miami.
I applaud PMA for being proactive and working togther with industry professionals to make floral even better.