DHL boosts air fleet to cope with Valentine’s Day demand

DHL Global Forwarding chartered three aircraft to help fly in flowers from Latin America into the US for Valentine’s Day. The company said despite heavy rains strongly affecting this year’s growing season in Ecuador and Colombia, growers were gearing up for higher market demand for flowers this year.

US consumers were predicted to spend $1.7bn on flowers for today’s Valentine’s Day festivities, up more than 17% from last year.

But DHL said there were capacity constraints on northbound freight.

Flower producers and exporters in Colombia, Ecuador and Costa Rica, have been shipping in flowers for the past two weeks to prepare for today. Roses dominate the flower exports, with around 65% of these red roses.

DHL ships flowers into Miami and Los Angeles international airports, from where they are distributed throughout the United States.

Elsewhere in the world, Amsterdam and Moscow are key destinations with Amsterdam being the world’s largest centre for flower distribution and auctions, while Russia is one of the largest consumers of flowers.

DHL Global Forwarding works with preferred carriers and air chartering services to ensure fast delivery for time-sensitive perishables when volumes exceed planned capacity on regular flights.

Heike Delgado, head of perishables for DHL Global Forwarding Latin America, said it was all part of simplifying the lives of its customers.

He said: “DHL Global Forwarding works closely with flower growers and exporters to make sure their delicate products arrive in pristine condition and in a timely manner.”

The company said its customs brokerage services mean accurate document handover, while track and trace capabilities offer shipment visibility demanded by customers during this busy time of year.

Dan Boiangin, the chairman of Miami-based third-party logistics provider Trans World Forwarding, Inc., (TWF), said DHL Global’s services meant end-to-end integrity for customers’ supply chains.

He said: “Our business demands that we move perishables like flowers across thousands of miles, keep them fresh and deliver them rapidly and in optimal condition.”

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