Fred van Tol, Manager of International Development at Royal FloraHolland writes about the Floriday Platform.
“It had a major impact on world trade flows. The container ship Evergreen that blocked the Suez Canal. I don’t think many of us knew that this route was so important to the supply chain. More than 300 cargo ships were blocked on their way to Europe or the southern and eastern territories. And we can already see the impact on the availability of products when we look at the webshops selling, for example, garden furniture and other products. Also at the beginning of the Covid crisis, the supply chain from the East was blocked. In several industries, this led to production delays. A lack of availability in the chip industry led to problems in the stock of smartphones but also in the car industry.
When I order from the webshop, it is not only a question of availability but also of the capacity of the parcel companies to deliver on time. And with more people staying at home, you notice that this is also becoming a problem. You could say that the success of webshop sales is killing itself. Especially in Europe, I see that the large Internet platforms are preparing themselves for the future. On the one hand, they are building large storage facilities close to the densely populated areas and are taking part in the logistics from stock to delivery. On the other hand, manufacturers are looking for production sites closer to the demand. To be less dependent on possible crises in the global supply chain.
If you look at the current situation in the floriculture sector, I see a number of similarities with these developments of the past year. The growth of online sales is clearly visible. Not only in Business to Consumer but also in Business to Business we see a growth of webshops of different wholesalers. There is a lot of pressure on air freight capacity around the world, especially from Africa to the north and east. And we see an imbalance between supply and demand despite the current measures of Covid-19. It will be interesting to see what the consequences of this development will be. The aim of Royal FloraHolland is to connect growers and wholesalers on a global scale through our Floriday Platform. And to provide logistic and financial services that facilitate transactions. So that we can link production to demand. We don’t develop those services ourselves, but together with the users of our platform. Step by step we Connect to Grow.”