Love Is in the Air

Santa has his sleigh and reindeer. Cupid relies on UPS’s Air Cargo Team. Here’s how UPS flexes its smart, global ‘lovegistics’ network to rise to the annual challenge.

Every child knows the North Pole is the geographic epicenter of Christmas – home to Santa Claus and his fabled workshop.

So, here’s a quick quiz for adults: What’s the geographic epicenter of Valentine’s Day? If fresh-cut flowers are what you’re planning to give to your beloved this Feb. 14, the answer is Latin America.

Warmer production

With most of the Northern Hemisphere locked in winter’s grip as Valentine’s Day approaches, U.S sweethearts rely on growers in the warmer climates – mainly from Colombia and Ecuador as well as Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala to produce most of the flowers exchanged during the holiday.

This year, U.S. consumers will spend an estimated $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion a year ago, on gifts for Valentine’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation – $2 billion on flowers alone, almost all of them imported.

A miracle of modern logistics

Transporting these delicate, perishable products from foreign field to foreign warehouse to foreign airport to Miami International Airport to U.S. warehouses to U.S. distributors and then to U.S. florists and U.S. supermarkets in – pause here to catch your breath – less than two days is a miracle of modern logistics.

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This year, UPS expects to deliver about 88 million flowers.

Adding to the challenge?

The rush of flowers headed north coincides with the continued post-Christmas returns in the third week of January. UPS plays a pivotal role in accommodating the surge and making sure the annual marvel of international trade goes smoothly.

This year, UPS expects to deliver about 88 million flowers – that’s about 8 million pounds of blooms, enough to fill 64 wide body 767s – to the U.S. in time for Valentine’s Day.

To handle the surge, UPS will add temperature-controlled flights to its schedule and move more than 514,000 boxes of flowers north from foreign growers to U.S. retailers and consumers.

We’re there for romantics

UPS understands that millions of romantics are relying on the company to help them meet the year’s sweetest deadline.

So every year, UPS revs up its operations, doing its part behind the scenes to help love bloom.

And for those who want to buy flowers for their special someone – consider this your reminder – remember that the supply chain behind your token of love is truly a miracle of modern logistics – or modern lovegistics.

You might also like:

From Latin America With Love: The Valentine’s Day Challenge

The Logistics of Keeping Flowers Fresh

The Logistics of Love

Frank Diaz is Global Marketing Manager for the UPS Americas Region.

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