Global logistics provider C.H. Robinson today announced it is helping shippers navigate a surge in temperature-controlled freight leading up to Mother’s Day, with a combination of temperature-controlled air, truckload and less-than-truckload services as well as an unmatched warehouse and distribution network that maximizes speed, efficiencies and freshness.

Nearly 70% of all florals move during a three-month period spanning Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, including 56 million pounds of fresh flowers delivered for Mother’s Day alone. This causes a jump in truckload demand as high as 3,000% when compared to the rest of the year. This surge in demand over a short period of time adds to the challenges shippers already face with a product that is globally sourced, perishable and relies on a limited supply of temperature-controlled transportation and storage. With 7-10 million boxes of flowers moved annually, C.H. Robinson has the largest temperature-controlled capacity network in North America and the deep expertise to enable fast hand-offs, quick pivots in times of disruption, and efficiencies that drive down costs and help ensure flowers arrive on time and looking beautiful.

“A huge swing in demand for temperature-controlled capacity is not something many logistics companies could tackle,” said Mike Moyski, Vice President, Temperature-Controlled & Flatbed, C.H. Robinson. “We are proud of our ability to quickly scale to meet our customers’ needs and reduce complexities that can lead to delays. With florals, the clock on freshness runs down quickly.”

The full journey of a Mother’s Day bouquet goes like this:

  • Temperature-Controlled Air: Direct from the field, florals are delivered to one of C.H. Robinson’s Latin America facilities where experts are on the ground to support airfreight capacity from Latin America directly to Miami. Once picked, the flowers are immediately cooled to 34 degrees to prevent them from blooming and will remain at that temperature throughout the full journey.
  • Refrigerated-Warehouse Processing: Once the florals depart Latin America, they are transported to a 50,000 sq ft. temp-controlled warehouse strategically located at the Miami International Airport (MIA). With 90% of all florals traveling through Miami, C.H. Robinson operates as the only freight forwarder with ramp access at MIA, allowing for swift transportation to keep floral costs down, and freshness up. At the inbound processing facilities, the stems go through customs, agricultural inspection and are quickly moved to C.H. Robinson’s floral facility where they undergo labeling, air-cooling and consolidation before shipping to their final destination.
  • Temperature-Controlled Surface Transportation: After packaging, the florals are loaded from tarmac to truck where C.H. Robinson leverages its relationships with over 7,500 retail customers combined with its temperature-controlled network – the largest in North America - to distribute the flowers to locations across the nation.
  • Enjoy: With approximately 23 million flowers sold on Mother's Day, C.H. Robinson's end-to-end floral logistics solution ensures retailers’ shelves are stocked, helping to celebrate mothers around the world.

Jose Rossignoli, President of Robinson Fresh, a division of C.H. Robinson, added, “Last year floral sales surged to $8 billion dollars in the U.S. - up 48% since 2018. As the sector continues to expand, C.H. Robinson is excited to leverage our temp-controlled air, consolidation, and surface transportation expertise and scale to support that growth and our customers’ growth.”