Global demand for flowers at record high

According to the United States National Retail Federation, this year’s Valentine’s Day spending is projected to reach $15.7 billion, up more than 17 percent from last year.

By ·

Consumer demand in emerging markets for more out-of-season perishables – including flowers for Valentine’s Day – is keeping logistics providers busy this season.

According to Heike Delgado, head of perishables for DHL Global Forwarding Latin America, the hemispheric cold chain has never been busier.

“No matter where you are in North or South America,” she said in an interview, “the expectations of the middle class is that Valentine’s Day means fresh flowers.”

Despite the heavy rains in Ecuador and Colombia, which strongly impacted the growing season this year, as well as capacity constraints on northbound freight, DHL Global Forwarding secured three chartered aircraft to offer customers the ability to move flowers during this peak season.

According to the United States National Retail Federation, this year’s Valentine’s Day spending is projected to reach $15.7 billion, up more than 17 percent from last year. Cut flowers, especially roses, are one of the most popular and traditional gifts for Valentine’s Day and the federation expects consumers to spend $1.7 billion on flowers.

Flower growers and exporters, primarily in Colombia, Ecuador and Costa Rica, have been gearing up to satisfy higher market demand for 2011. This year, producers started exporting for St. Valentine’s Day at least two weeks ago. 

Delgado told LM that the main destination for flowers exported from Latin America is the United States. DHL ships flowers to Miami and Los Angeles international airports, and from there they are distributed nationwide.  Amsterdam and Moscow also are key destinations since Amsterdam is the world’s largest center for flower distribution and auctions, and Russia one of the largest single-country consumers of flowers.

“We are making the most of ‘sea-air’ distribution strategies, too,” she said. “We can fly to LAX for example, and then sent by ocean vessel to Asia.”


Roses dominate the Valentine’s Day market and represent the largest share of flowers exported from Latin America.  About 65 percent of the roses exported are red, while the rest are other vibrant colors. Other types of flowers, referred to in the industry as “fillers,” are also shipped in significant quantities and provide a special touch to bouquets.  These include aster, delphinium and hypericum. But many consumers opt for sunflowers, carnations, chrysanthemums and hydrangeas that also are cultivated south of the border.


Flowers shipped from Latin America to the U.S. are often used in ready-made bouquets that are sold primarily in supermarkets and discount retail stores and make convenient gifts for Valentine’s Day.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
B2B Sellers Prefer a Unified Approach for Ecommerce
A new study from Forrester Consulting, commissioned by NetSuite, found that many midmarket, B2B sellers say their ecommerce solutions have contributed to their growth in sales, new customer acquisitions and improved customer relationships.
Download Today!
From the August 2016 Issue
A growing number of low-cost lift trucks offer new avenues for pairing equipment and applications, but less cautious buyers might find that small up-front costs come at a steep price. Selecting the proper lift truck, lift truck tips 2016, Choosing the right Lift Truck
Megatrends in ocean freight
Ocean Cargo Roundtable: What’s in store for 2017?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...

Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....
Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...