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Flower exporters eye sea freight as air prices skyrocket

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By Judith Gicobi 

Due to the high expense of delivering horticultural produce by air, traders are increasingly opting for sea freight, which is less expensive.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) freighters are charging $5.8 per kilo of cargo, causing exporters to look for other options.

According to Clement Tulezi, chief executive officer of the Kenya Flower Council, the levies have caused Ethiopian goods to sell at competitive costs on the global market due to cheaper freight rates. The cost of marine freight is expected to drop to at least $2.8 per kilo.

The Kenya Flower Council (KFC) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands inked a structure of collaboration on Monday, which is expected to speed up the transition to sea freight for perishable products in Kenya.

To achieve this goal, a full-time role of agro-logistics coordinator has been created at the KFC headquarters to work on the program.

The blossoms will be carried to the Port of Mombasa in refrigerated train containers for export to Europe.

Nearly 70% of Kenya’s cut flower exports goes to Europe, and the country’s restricted cargo capacity makes it impossible to serve this market, jeopardizing thousands of employment.

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