The facts about shipping plants
When you order plants from any commercial nursery, chances are
that the plants will be shipped to you via air cargo or by a commercial
express shipping company. Plants are perishable, of course.
Once the plants leave a nursery, the number of ways they can perish
grows with every leg of their journey.
Robrick Nursery works to reduce the chance of injury to your
plants during shipping. While Robrick Nursery cannot guarantee
the condition of your plants after they have left our Nursery,
we have worked to design a packaging system that helps protect
our plants on their journey to you. Our goal is for you to receive
your plants looking as beautiful as when they left our nursery.
As plants travel across the country, their containers are handled
by numerous hands, placed on a variety of transportation vehicles
and exposed to a wide variety of climate conditions. An express
shipper’s duty is to move packages from point A to point B as
quickly as possible without inflicting “too” much damage on the
cargo. In doing so, containers are often treated rougher than
we would like.
When packages are transferred from one transportation mode to
another, they are tossed, pushed, pulled, kicked, thrown on carts
and run over rollers. During these transitions, narrow, top-heavy
boxes can tip over and their contents can be unknowingly destroyed.
As trucks rumble across bumpy roads and around sharp turns, their
cargo shifts and bounces. Once again, a narrow top heavy box will
not stay upright in these conditions.
Physics cannot be changed by printing 'up' arrows on the sides
of boxes. All the printed directions on our competitor's narrow
boxes cannot force their boxes to stay upright.
need for a lower center of gravity
Robrick Nursery ships a lot of plants and our shipping experience
helped us develop a container system that protects plants from
the stress of rough travel. The Robrick Nursery wide footprint
box has a low center of gravity and is not likely to tip over
during transport or transfer. As our boxes our stacked next to
our competitors boxes, the stability of our boxes can be seen
as the other boxes struggle to keep their balance.
Not only do our boxes manage to stay upright, but they are designed
to house our plants securely in individual layers that offer a
second degree of stability. The inserts in our boxes fit our trays
snugly to prevent shifting while they are being bounced around
What about the weather?
When plants leave our beautiful Florida climate, they have grown
accustomed to our mild temperatures. As plants move about the
country their containers can be subjected to a severe range of
temperatures. Radical temperature changes on our human bodies
play havoc with our immune system. Imagine what fragile young
plants must feel like when they are experience large temperature
fluctuations. Even worse than temperature fluctuations alone,
we all know what happens to young plants when they are placed
in near or below freezing conditions.
insulation is the answer
The key to successfully traveling through an unknown temperature
spectrum is to insulate the plants enough so that they will not
recognize the changes around them. Beyond buying our own temperature
regulated trucks and planes, Robrick Nursery needed to reduce
our plants' exposure to damaging temperatures.
We found that the heavy weight materials used to construct our
boxes, combined with our layering method, helps maintain a steady
temperature in the depths of the boxes where the plants are housed.
Not only do our double layered boxes help insulate our plants,
they also provide a sturdier shipping container with a more stable
center of gravity.
do you know Robrick Nursery's boxes create a temperature friendly
We have performed box studies and collected temperature data to
show the stability of temperatures inside our boxes.
We used a controlled environment to measure temperature changes
over time within our shipping boxes. Our studies show that the
survival rate of our plants should stay high over the course of
a normal shipping period, even when the containers are subjected
to wide temperature fluctuations. A well insulated box will not
completely maintain the original packing temperature, but will
allow the temperature to change gradually over a long time. Avoiding
rapid temperature changes is the first step in helping plants
survive the outside elements. Extending the temperature change
time as long as possible is the second step in keeping plants
Our measurements were conducted using Sensitech TempTale Manager
Modules. Our welder has a large walk-in freezer where he stores
game that he has hunted. We placed our boxes in the freezer and
recorded three separate measurements over 44 hours. The three
measurements were the freezer temperature, our Summer Box temperature,
and our Winter Box temperature. As the graph below displays, our
winter box will protect our plants from freezing temperatures
over the course of a normal shipment.