Flowers, Water And Overnight Shipping

WOBURN, MA | Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The race is on to invent a wet-ship system for Internet floral marketers shipping product overnight via FedEx. The ProconaŽ water pack system and many versions of the bucket-in-a-box package are ideal for cargo planes and trucks, but the stackable cartons, which require flowers to be upright in water, cannot be properly handled due to the sorting and handling methods of overnight shipping. KaBloom, www.kabloom.com, introduced its Moses Miracle packaging device to franchises in mid-October. The new device is a latex "bladder," filled with 4 to 8 ounces of water mixed with antibacterial solution, that wraps around the bottom of a bunch. A machine fills the latex containers and seals the bunch's perimeters with a 1-inch thick, secure band. With the Moses Miracle, KaBloom says it ships flowers flat in boxes within 48 hours of harvest from farms in Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to franchisees around the country. Numerous patents and patent applications are pending on a wet-ship system that allows bunched, hydrating flowers to lay flat in boxes, according to Stan Lewandowski of Pagter Innovations Inc., www.pagter.com. "Whoever gets it right will be the next 'Procona man' of the Internet," Lewandowski says, referring to the moniker bestowed on him by many U.S. growers and shippers who use the system he started marketing in the United States 10 years ago. "We're working on a system that will allow us to ship overnight via FedEx from the farms," he says. "Someone is pretty close to having something that will work."

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