From Bloom to Bouquet: Cold Chain Logistics in Flower Delivery


From Bloom to Bouquet: Cold Chain Logistics in Flower Delivery

Roses are red. Violets are blue. How do flowers get delivered in perfect condition to you? With Valentine’s Day approaching, the surge of flower orders and deliveries is increasing. The process of shipping flowers from nurseries to florists requires time sensitivity and attention to detail. With the Day of Love nearly here, let’s dive into the cold chain logistics in flower delivery.

The Import of Flowers

While running to the florist to pick up a dozen roses is a simple task, the process to get those roses to the United States wasn’t so simple. Most flowers sold in the U.S. come from abroad. California is the main domestic flower producer in the U.S., but it only accounts for a small percentage of the flowers sold here. Flowers that end up in our grocery stores primarily come from South America, Africa, and Europe.

The journey that flowers take to the U.S. is a long one. Experience in cold chain is necessary for the carriers that haul this delicate freight. Flowers must be maintained in the proper environment for quality purposes. Healthy, beautiful flowers won’t survive their long journey without a proper cold chain solution.

From Field to Florist

The process to import flowers to the U.S. is meticulous with little room for error. The shelf life of a flower is extremely short, so it’s important to ship them as quickly as possible. To get your favorite carnations and lilies from field to florist is an extensive procedure. Let’s take a look at how flowers grown in Ecuador or Columbia arrive in your flower shops.

Flowers begin their journey at a farm or nursery. When they’re ready, the flowers are placed in a refrigerated room to remove field heat before they are graded, bunched, and packaged. After this step, the flowers are placed into a cool hydrating solution to help preserve them. They are then placed on a refrigerated truck at temperatures between 33-35 degrees Fahrenheit while they travel to the airport. The flowers are then placed on a refrigerated cargo plane with the same insulation and temperatures as the truck. Once they arrive in the U.S., the flowers go to a refrigerated hall to await Customs. After Customs, they are finally placed on another refrigerated truck to the final destination of the retailer.

To get flowers from field to florist takes precision and expertise. Flowers begin decomposing the minute that they’re cut so it is truly a race against the clock. The use of cold chain logistics in flower delivery and working with a third-party logistics company (3PL) that is experienced in cold chain can help preserve your flowers’ life.

Shipping temperature-sensitive items? Check out our Temperature Shipping Guide.

Utilizing Cold Chain Logistics

The shipment of flowers needs to be as delicate as the flower itself. Cold chain logistics is one of the most important parts of floral management. Consistency is necessary throughout the flowers’ journey. This means temperature and insulation maintenance need to be a top priority.

Cold chain interruptions can cause flowers to lose as much as 40 percent of their vase life. The longer flowers remain in a consistently cool area, the longer they’ll survive. Time is of the essence when shipping flowers and it is important that your shipment is in the right hands. A 3PL with proper knowledge in cold chain logistics will arrange to get your flowers to their destination while keeping them in mint condition.

No one wants their flowers to arrive on Valentine’s Day all wilted and decomposed. As a Burris Logistics company, we can provide you with the cold chain support that you need for your floral shipments. Trinity Logistics has the ability to ship your flowers through cold chain so that they arrive as fresh as a daisy!

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