Q7 Air Cargo Brokers: it is the name of the enterprise that FloraHolland and an experienced business partner have jointly set up to offer members in Kenya better logistic services. “To also help these members achieve the best possible sales position, we are managing the logistics chain on their behalf,” says Peter Bouma, Business Development manager.
"FloraHolland is providing added value for its members by organising the chain for them and with them, as well as for buyers," explains Bouma. "When growers have to do so themselves, this leads to suboptimal results and higher costs."
Q7 Air Cargo Brokers' operation is overseen from Nairobi by Andy Pattenden, the partner in this enterprise, and commercial manager Dennis Macc Nyamweya of the local offices. Q7 Air Cargo Brokers intends to increase the efficiency of the complex logistic processes of Kenyan growers through:
- Buying and selling air cargo capacity with airline companies.
- Organising the logistic distribution process at Nairobi airport.
- The inspection and organisation of shipments for the auction clock and for direct sales, respectively.
- The improvement of the refrigerated chain and the exchange of information on logistic processes.
The importance of logistics
Good logistics are essential for growers in Kenya. Bouma: "The competitiveness of international growers is greatly affected by the quality, expenses and priorities of their logistic chains." By helping to keep expenses low, FloraHolland builds its bond with members. Another issue is the monitoring of product quality throughout the chain. But even more important is the matter of consolidation, of processing products in such a manner that they can be delivered directly at the customer level. All members' transactions run though FloraHolland's administrative system. Using this information, we can provide them with a highly useful logistic service, ensuring that shipments are not loaded on to airplanes in bulk but sorted by purpose, be it the auction clock, direct sales, or even by customer. By sorting the bulk of the supply as early as Nairobi, we facilitate matters for growers to maximum extent. This give them greater spending power, making it easier for them to develop commercial activities in their area. That's how reliable delivery is assured, anywhere in the world. All this moreover strengthens the position of the international trading platform of FloraHolland in the field of international direct trade flows.
FloraHolland's great strength is that we can organise such processes collectively. On top of that, we are able to link our logistics systems to our financial, commercial and IT systems. In the end, that's something everyone benefits from. It is a positive development for Dutch members too - the FloraHolland trading platform becomes stronger as a broader assortment becomes available at the right moment to a growing number of buyers. That's why we are doing this."
"FloraHolland is developing Q7 Air Cargo Brokers in consultation with a number of Kenyan growers," Peter Bouma, Business Development Manager FloraHolland .
Together with our members
"We regularly discuss the project's progress with them. We can now organise the processes of air cargo processing and consolidation at Nairobi airport, and we buy air cargo capacity jointly. As a result, we now have a loyal and enthusiastic customer base there. Over the coming years we will be expanding Q7 Air Cargo Brokers further, together with the members concerned."
A stronger connection to FloraHolland
"On my behalf Q7 Air Cargo Brokers takes care of my cool chain management and my freight forwarding. You could say they manage my logistic process between Nairobi and FloraHolland."
We are talking with Rod Jones of Equinox Horticulture Ltd. Jones is happy with the services of Q7 Air Cargo Brokers. "They help me get my roses at FloraHolland in the required selling conditions. The do not necessarily save me money. There are other freight forwarders, who probably work at the same cost. Still I choose for Q7 Air Cargo Brokers. For two reasons. One is the reliability of their cool chain management. The other is their connection to FloraHolland. I now feel more part of the cooperative and that is important. FloraHolland takes care of my sales. The more I am connected to FloraHolland, the better it is. I could use different selling methods, but I have chosen for FloraHolland, so there is a commitment to FloraHolland. Provided to do a good job at acceptable costs. Of course my reasons for choosing for FloraHolland are commercial but I believe in long time relationships. If I change the outlet for my roses time and again I continuously would have to change my business model and that's quite expensive.
Q7 Air Cargo Brokers takes new initiatives, like handling flowers at Nairobi Airport. As a member of FloraHolland being connected to Q7 we discuss these development. I'm happy with that. If Q7 Air Cargo Brokers could provide these services at acceptable cost it would further improve our cool chain management and it would make our logistics more efficient."
Trying to improve market position of the grower
"Cooperating with FloraHolland means we have a mutual interest in what growers in Kenya do. We are no ordinary freight forwarder; like FloraHolland our aim is to help growers get the best possible price out of the market."
So says Andy Pattenden, who is the managing director of Q7 Air Cargo Brokers. "The initiative to start this company started in the FloraHolland Freight Group. We took over most of their task, but we are not an ordinary freight forwarder. We run this business based on the FloraHolland ethos of bringing growers in the best possible trading position. We do that by achieving air freight capacity and by consolidating flower shipments at Nairobi Airport.
There are already many growers in Kenya supporting our ideas. In the short period of our existence we have managed to save air freight cost and to improve the quality of the logistic process. Other growers are waiting for more acts from our side. And these acts will follow. I am impressed by the way the colleagues at the local Nairobi office are acting as freight forwarders. So I have confidence in a good future for Q7 Air Cargo Brokers in helping growers to improve their business."