If modern Cupid had to be embodied, physically, it would look like one of the world’s global supply chain networks. Today, especially amidst the global pandemic, it’s hard to deliver love on Valentine’s Day without logistics. Flowers, cards, and chocolates are the first thing you might associate with the holiday of love. Ironically, delivering these signs of warm feelings requires planning a very robust cold supply chain to maintain the products’ condition.
Valentine’s Day in Numbers
According to estimates, spending on Valentine’s Day is going to hit record heights this year as retailers ramp up digitalization. In the UK, for example, retailers estimate a 26% increase in sales in 2021 compared to the previous year. Let’s look at some Valentine’s Day numbers to better understand how global it is, and how hard people involved with logistics work to deliver love in the form of a fresh bouquet or a chocolate box:
- 95 million flowers (around 3000 tons) are transported from Latin America to the US by UPS alone
- More than 90% of flowers going to the US go through the Miami Airport
- 500 billion Valentine’s Day roses were imported into the US in 2020
- Flower temperature storage is 2-4 Celsius
- Chocolate temperature storage is 10-18 Celsius
Essentially, sustaining the demand for Valentine’s gifts requires enormous refrigerated capacity and top-notch planning. Retailers, suppliers, manufacturers, and logisticians do a great job every year to provide us with the cards, gifts, and flowers we give to our loved ones.
Nearly 60% of the U.S. population celebrates Valentine’s Day. In 2020, the average amount spent on Valentine’s gifts was $196. According to the National Retail Federation states, the most popular gifts purchased on Valentine’s Day are sweets (55%), cards (45.9%), and flowers (35.6%).
How does Valentine’s Day logistics work?
Three of the top gifts can only be shipped through refrigerated trailers. The demand for temperature-controlled equipment is on the rise. It is extremely important to keep the products in proper conditions and maintain a certain temperature. For example, roses need to be at 35 degrees (F) through the entire transit, and upon arrival as well.
Both chocolates and flowers have to remain in excellent condition. The items that are going to be sold as gifts have to be highly attractive, as there is no room for mistakes when it comes to expressing love. The emotional context of these products puts high pressure on the retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers.
For more specific gifts, delivery time also plays a crucial role in customer experience. Any delayed, canceled, or damaged orders bring extra frustration to the customer and this error will most likely cost you a customer’s loyalty. Ultimately, getting roses and candies moved to the warehouse facility is not the end of the journey. After this step in the process, products go to retailers’ facilities from which they are sent to the local shops or sent directly to the customers.
The supply chain of Valentine’s Day gifts is very long and complicated. That’s why having a good shipping service or logistics provider is essential to the proper planning and operational execution of such shipments. At the end of the day, it’s logistics and retail companies that supply us with high-quality gifts for our loved ones on-time. It’s not just the delivery of sweets or flowers, it’s the delivery of an entire experience.