Air shipment demand drives forecasted transportation of 89 million flowers; up from 88 million in 2018

Atlanta, GA - We might be in a digital age, but, when it comes to the year’s sweetest holiday, an emoji-filled text just won’t do. That’s why UPS (NYSE: UPS) is gearing up its global logistics of love network to deliver an estimated 89 million flowers in time for Valentine’s Day.

The projection, an increase of one million from the number of flowers delivered in 2018, means about nine million pounds of blooms will crisscross the globe in time for Cupid’s big day. To ensure these precious flowers arrive at peak freshness, UPS shepherds the shipments from colorful growing fields in Latin America through the Miami International Airport, where UPS is one of the largest air cargo carriers, to final recipients in less than two days. UPS has added 50 extra flights during this period to handle what is expected to be more than 517,000 bloom-filled boxes.

“UPS is ready to deliver flowers with a speed rivaling Cupid’s arrows,” said Kevin Warren, UPS’s chief marketing officer. “This is made possible by our intelligent logistics network, which can deftly handle everything from precious flowers to a critical healthcare supply and everything in-between.”

UPS’s state-of-the-art network ensures that flowers arrive in pristine condition. Temperature-controlled aircraft and trucks carefully transport the precious blooms from fields in countries like Ecuador and Colombia to the United States. Teams then meet the shipments at the Miami UPS facilities and rush them to an enormous refrigerated warehouse cooler the size of about five basketball courts. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents inspect and sort the boxes for fast clearance before flower distributors pick them up and get them to delivery.

“The need for a reliable logistics partner is crucial for us to spread joy and love to our customers around the globe,” said Galo Sanchez, executive vice president of The Elite Flower, Colombia’s largest privately-owned flower farm. “Because we know millions of sweethearts are counting on us, every year, we depend on UPS’s operational expertise to ensure that love blooms on Valentine’s Day.”

According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers will spend an estimated $20.7 billion, up from $19.6 billion a year ago, on gifts for Valentine’s Day. Roughly $1.9 billion of that will come from flowers.