Supplying Love through the Supply Chain

February 15 2021

February 14th, Valentine’s Day – a day to remind the people in your life that you love them. According to this FreightWaves infographic, “52% of adults plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day… with $21.8 billion projected in sales.” How do people plan to celebrate? The most popular ways tend to be candy, cards, flowers, a night out, jewelry, etc. The FreightWaves infographic breaks down people’s gift plans in 2020 versus this year and in some expected ways, the pandemic is impacting how people are going to spend their Valentine’s Day.

Additionally, the infographic looks at where people will shop. To no one’s surprise, the majority of people will be shopping online for their gifts. This shift to online purchasing has been happening over the past few years and then the COVID-19 pandemic gave one huge push towards e-commerce. However, right behind online shopping are all the brick and mortar stores, most likely selling the smaller typical Valentine’s gifts like cards, candy and flowers.

Here’s the infographic:

One thing most people often don’t think about is how these gifts, cards, jewelry, and flowers arrive at stores for customer purchase. All roads lead to the supply chain (literally and figuratively). The importance and active role of the industry in our daily lives has become a theme on our blog because I think we often forget all the steps that happen before we go to a store and bring something home. Even those heavily involved in logistics and the supply chain, including Kingsgate employees and myself, can forget the gravity and importance of the work we do.

Take for instance the millions of flowers purchased in the past week leading up to Valentine’s Day, have you ever thought about what it takes to get a bouquet from where they are grown to the store you purchase them in? Another FreightWaves article broke down this very topic. They said, “Behind the scenes, an intricate choreography of logistics parties that rely on air transport and refrigeration every step of the way makes their gift of love possible.”

Essentially time and temperature are of the essence when shipping florals. “To minimize damage and maximize shelf life, growers harvest flowers in the early morning, hydrate and box them, and put them in a refrigerated store room before sending them to the airport in a refrigerated truck the same day, according to industry experts. At the airport, the shipment immediately goes into a refrigerated warehouse where the boxes are stacked on flat containers, or skids, and then loaded on the plane. Cargo planes are typically loaded in the evening, when it’s cooler.”

When you think about the people and the process behind your purchase, it gives so much more meaning to each item we gift. Everything in our lives moves through the supply chain and I hope you’re reminded that even saying “I love you” with small gifts and flowers on Valentine’s Day is so much bigger and more intricate than stopping at the store or shopping online!

All the Best,

Jeff Beckham 

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