Postharvest temperature and transport duration affect the vase life of cut flowers. necessitating temperature control throughout the marketing chain. However, in practise interruptions of this cold chain often occur, e.g. at the auction, airport or other transfer points. We investigated the effect of an early interruption of the cold chain on water loss, rate of development and vase life of four cut flower species. The experiment had a factorial design: three durations of interruption (8.16 and 40 h), each at five temperatures (8, 12, 16, 20 and 24C), and three containers (replicates) per treatment. A standard marketing chain simulation and vase life evaluation followed each treatment. Controls were 0 h interruption with and without marketing chain simulation. The experiment was carried out twice for each species. Water loss was proportional to vapor pressure deficit, with a sometimes synergistic effect of temperature. A short exposure to 20C accelerated the development of all flower species compared to continuous 8C. The effect of the higher temperature became more apparent later in the marketing chain. Averaged over the interruption temperatures, a one-day delay in the marketing chain resulted in a one day (Aster and Gypsophila) to three days (Dianthus and Chrysanthemum) decrease in vase life. A temperature of 20C for 40 hours reduced the vase life by 30% to 40% compared to continuous 8C.