From Latin America
with love: DHL makes
Valentine’s Day rosy
Feb 14, 2011 10:37 AM
Logistics company DHL has been making sure that spouses, sweethearts, and friends have fresh flowers for Valentine’s Day.
Despite heavy rains in Ecuador and Colombia, which strongly impacted this year’s growing season, and capacity constraints on northbound freight, DHL Global Forwarding secured three chartered aircraft to offer customers the ability to move flowers during this peak season.
The United States National Retail Federation projects this year’s Valentine’s Day spending to reach $15.7 billion, up more than 17% from 2010. 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 Valentine’s Day at least two weeks prior to the holiday. The main destination for flowers exported from Latin America is the United States. DHL ships flowers to Miami and Los Angeles international airports; 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.
Roses dominate the Valentine’s Day market and represent the largest share of flowers exported from Latin America. About 65% of the roses exported are red; 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 United States are often used in ready-made bouquets sold primarily in supermarkets and discount retail stores and make convenient gifts for Valentine’s Day.
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