The Sweet Logistics of Valentine’s Day Flowers

The Sweet Logistics of Valentine’s Day Flowers

In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, consumers head into stores to purchase flowers at a volume that is far higher than any other day of the year. And, because they want to give their loved ones the freshest blooms possible, many Valentine’s Day floral purchases are made the day of—which means hundreds of stores around the country need to be prepared to have enough flowers on hand to meet their demand.

It takes precise timing, detailed cold chain management, and skill to get flowers from field to store shelf in time for the holiday surge. Here’s a look at the process involved.

Valentine’s Day planning starts weeks in advance

Fresh floral deliveries require a precise logistics plan in place—especially when you consider the sharp increase in demand and the delicate nature at which flowers need to be handled from field to store. Typically, preparation begins at least six weeks before the holiday.

Cold chain management begins in the field

Flowers are primarily grown in Colombia, with some grown in Ecuador and Costa Rica. After they’re cut in the field, flowers are pre-cooled to 35°F, making them dormant to prevent early blooming. From there, they are transported to the airport while maintaining a specific temperature.

Keeping flowers fresh, from field to retailer

Valentine’s Day flowers arriving from Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica come in through the Miami airport, the central hub for all floral imports into the United States. Clearing customs can take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. During this time, flowers might be exposed to warmer temperatures, but they are promptly cooled back to 35°F after arriving at warehouses for bouquet assembly. Then, refrigerated trucks arrive at warehouses to transport flowers to locations across the country. The best transportation providers can offer 24/7 tracking to retailers, along with constant temperature monitoring to make sure flowers arrive looking their very best for Valentine’s Day shoppers and recipients.

Final thoughts

Delivering the freshest flowers possible requires the right cold chain management as flowers are warehoused, transported, and distributed. Proper temperature control helps flowers stay dormant throughout the trip, which gives them prolonged shelf life when they arrive at retail locations. I hope your Valentine’s Day is full of fresh, beautiful bouquets!

Connect with our experts to discuss your floral program.

Javier Truyol

Javier Truyol - florals key account manager, C.H. Robinson

Javier has 18 years of experience in the transportation/logistics industry with C.H. Robinson, a company he joined in 1998 as a dry cargo manager in the Shreveport, LA, office. In 2004, he moved to the company’s operation in Miami to manage perishable commodities; a few years later he began working with flowers and has been loving it ever since. He currently manages importers, shippers and retailers in C.H. Robinson’s floral program, which aims to be the premier retail supply chain solution for the floral industry. He is a native of Madrid, Spain.

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