Snow disrupts floral trade

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As the winter hits the UK, affecting schools, power and travel, it has also been snowing in the Netherlands – and this means chaos, not only on the roads but at the airport too.

At Amsterdam Schiphol airport, many passenger flights were and are still delayed or cancelled. Queues are long and passengers had to find overnight accommodation. Cargo shipments have been hugely affected too. “A lot of shipments delayed”, says Loes Beelen of IAA Fresh, a large forwarder at Schiphol. “It has been very busy, especially with flights to the US. Thanksgiving was a couple of weeks ago, and the economy is booming with Christmas is around the corner, and if the capacity drops like it is now, it’s fighting a losing battle.”

In the UK, flower wholesaler J Van Vliet Enfield used Instagram to warn their customers of the issues, stating: “I just would like to pre-warn all of you that due to large snowfall around the continent, our delivery truck from Holland will arrive later than usual. We will have our import from Colombia and Italy by the time that we open, but all Dutch import will be late. So please bear with us for your delivery, we will try to deliver as quick as possible.”

When a product enters Schiphol and can’t leave the airport, it will be placed in the cold store. However, when this cool store is full, shipments will be refused.

On the road, there haven’t been any earth shattering problems for De Winter Logistics, but a lot of inconveniences. “Some splash-boards were broken, but no exterior damage”, says Marcel Orie. “We had one or two cars that slid off the road and had to wait a while for the emergency services. But we had to cancel some orders, because we could not simply reach the destination.”

It is still questionable if all problems will be solved by this evening. “Fortunately, we delivered all auction products at several locations on time this morning, but now, the trade needs to be shipped out from the auction. It all depends how and if the traffic situation will improve today.”

Not only in the Netherlands, the snow resulted in problems in Belgium and Germany too. Dutch transport company Van der Velde drives to Belgium and was encountering problems yesterday afternoon. “In the afternoon, we could still drive in the Netherlands, but in Belgium it was a nightmare. We have had to call back two of our trucks that were in Belgium”, says Erik van der Velde. Due to the snow, there are problems on the roads with long traffic jams, resulting in the trucks that are supplying the auction being delayed.

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) forecasts slippery roads due to the freezing snow residues. For the following days, no wintry weather is forecasted.

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