Trucking Industry at the Heart of Valentine's Dayby Jana Ritter - Published: 2/14/2013
Holidays such as Valentine's day has billions of flowers imported into the US and transported to every state, every city and rush delivered to individual addresses in time for the celebration. But its not only enough to keep millions of florists across the country busy running off their feet, it requires a great many truck drivers to put on the miles as well.
Take one small area such as Southern Florida for example. According to the Association of Floral Importers of Florida, 89% of 5 billion flowers are flown into Miami International Airport (as compared to the 6% flown into Los Angeles). More than $20,000 worth of flowers were ordered by managers at Flowers To Go in West Palm Beach and that one company alone has more than 400 orders to deliver before the day is over, along with the extra arrangements inside the store for those who want to walk in. AFI of Florida add that more than 200,000 people in the U.S. depend on the flower industry which include airline importers and exporters, customs and truck drivers along with the floral shops workers.
In addition to the local deliveries, getting delicate products like flowers and candy to the retail stores first, requires careful coordination, transportation management and reliable truck drivers. Flowers are an especially sensitive product to deliver, demanding temperature-controlled trailers to minimize their exposure to damaging elements. Another issue facing retailers on holidays such as Valentine's Day is getting all other popular gift items in-store, beforehand. Often, this can create logistics problems, as warehouses and distribution centers scramble to fill anticipated demand. Logistic and carrier companies such as New Century, handle the process from beginning to end. They eliminate unnecessary transfers and potential delays, as well as guarantee on-time delivery as they deal directly with the merchandise every step of the way.
Any manufacture or retailer knows that disruptions and delays often result in lost sales, and reliable transportation providers are often at the heart of preventing such losses, especially during holidays. But as seen with last week's major snowstorm still affecting areas in the north east, sometimes even the trucking industry's best isn't enough to overcome the worst weather. Half the battle for florists in Central Massachusetts this Valentine's Day was getting roses to their stores in time for their biggest holiday of the year and the other half of the battle — same as every year — is getting the flowers out to customers on Valentine's Day. “Everything got slowed down by the storm, obviously,” said Paul T. Shusas, owner of Holmes-Shusas Florist. “Roses began arriving late Sunday afternoon.”
Mr. Shusas also explains that the majority of roses used this time of year are grown in Ecuador, so they have to travel a long way; by air to wholesalers and then by truck to florists. A lot of florists this year held their breath as the recent blizzard caused havoc for days without air and ground travel. To their great relief, the current crop of roses was here in plenty of time for Valentine's Day, arriving in great shape.