Preparations for Valentine’s Day, the annual onslaught of flower shipments from around the world, have begun.
Saudi Cargo has added four extra freighter flights between Nairobi and Amsterdam this month to meet an increased demand for flower exports. The new flights — a mix of MD11 and B 747-F aircraft — will bring Saudi’s total European flower capacity to 1,000 tons. According to officials, this is the third consecutive year Saudi has added more flights during February to deal with the additional flower shipments.
At UPS, workers start transporting 95 million flowers from Latin America in the weeks ahead of Valentine’s Day, with the integrator adding 130 flights to address the increase in demand. The flowers travel in temperature-controlled planes from places like Ecuador and Colombia to UPS’ Miami hub, where they are stored at a refrigerated warehouse before being transported to their final destination.
This trip from Latin America, through U.S. Customs and onto the flowers’ importer takes less than 24 hours, according to a company press release.
"Valentine's Day is a significant retail and e-commerce event and for some of our customers, it can be their biggest day of the year," UPS’ David Sisco said in a statement. "Valentine's Day brings together many of the expanded services UPS offers: global trade and customs clearance, temperature-sensitive solutions, express freight and shipping, and our focus on delivering the best experience for retailers and their customers." - Jon Ross