The Logistics of Valentine’s Day Roses

FEBRUARY 15, 2014


U.S. consumers buy the most flowers on Valentine’s and Mother’s Days–and getting fresh roses to market takes speed, the right temperature, and skill. Like all perishable products, flowers require specific temperatures to maintain freshness, without which they will lose their bloom.

Complicating this need for the ideal temperature, flowers travel a long way from field to store reports Supply Chain 24/7 (Feb. 13, 2014). Eighty percent of all flowers sold for Valentine’s Day are shipped from Latin America, with 12% coming from domestic production and 8% arriving from other locations. In 2013, 231,466 1,000-stem-count bushels of roses were imported into the U.S. from Latin America. Most of these came from Colombia (142,000) and Ecuador (79,000).

Shipping starts weeks before the holiday and the best flowers arrive early. The graphic shows the 2-week path of a rose, from the fields of Latin America to the hands of its recipient.

This post provided courtesy of Jay and Barry’s OM Blog at www.heizerrenderom.wordpress.comProfessors Jay Heizer and Barry Render are authors of Operations Management , the world’s top selling textbook in its field, published by Pearson.

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