We hear from Regional Commercial Manager for Spain and Portugal Idoia Martinez on how IAG Cargo’s Spanish operation handles huge quantities of flowers during the annual All Saints Day festival in early November
What is the significance of the Día de Todos Los Santos, or Día de los Muertos, and why is it such a crucial period for IAG Cargo?
Día de Todos Los Santos is an important holiday in Latin America and Spain, it’s when we pay our respects to those have passed by laying flowers at the graves of family members and friends. It always takes place in early November, usually on the 1st or 2nd of the month, and at cemeteries you’ll see bunches of flowers, people gathering with their families. It’s our way of remembering and celebrating those that we love who are no longer with us.
It’s such a busy period for IAG Cargo, because we need to supplement our local produce of flowers with overseas volumes to meet demand, so we move a huge number of flowers from Quito and Bogotá into Spain and Miami during the two or three weeks leading up to the holiday. All flights during that period are filled with flowers.
What kind of volumes do we see coming in from Latin America?
This year we saw more than 12 million flowers being transported via our Constant Fresh product across daily flights from Ecuador and 10 weekly services from Colombia. Our Constant Fresh product, which is designed for fresh produce that must-fly, keeps fruit, vegetables and flowers in optimal conditions between 0 and 8 degrees Celcius during the 72 hours that it takes to transport them from origin to destination.
Are there any processes or optimisations that you instate during this period to manage such high volumes?
Our Operations team are aware of the volumes that will be arriving, and they make special preparations for variables like the transit time from aircraft to warehouse – so managers pay special attention to the temperature within the Constant Fresh transit vehicles to ensure quality and freshness isn’t compromised. Our processes and systems are well-established and we’re confident that we provide a premium service to our customers during such a busy, and important time of the year.