Mother’s Day Flowers and Cold Chain

Mother’s Day Flowers and Cold Chain

The clearest modern precedent for Mother’s day is the early Christian festival known as Mothering Sunday. As a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as when the faithful would return to their mother church for a special service. Over time, the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more nonspiritual holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers as well as gifts. Today, the flower industry sees a major spike around Mothers Day. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Mother’s Day flowers and cold chain logistics.

Mother’s Day Flowers and Cold Chain

History of Mother’s Day Flowers

Flowers are a personal and time-honored tradition that says “I love you” as only a few things can. There is of course an official flower of Mother’s Day – Carnations. Anna Jarvis, who invented Mother’s Day, sent white carnations to her family’s church in West Virginia, for distribution during the associated service, as it was her mother’s favorite flower. Jarvis was quoted as saying the flower exemplified the virtues of motherhood, the whiteness stands for purity and faithfulness. In some parts of the country, it was popular to wear a carnation on Mother’s Day, particularly to church.

Tulips are also wonderful flowers to give to your mother on Mother’s Day. Tulips represent new and eternal life, comfort, as well as happiness. The general message when receiving tulips is a message of love.

Easy, Thoughtful Gift

Studies show almost 70% of children will give their moms flowers on Mother’s Day. In fact, in the United States, consumers spend an estimated $2.6 billion on flowers on Mother’s Day. For many, we view flowers as the easiest choice for a Mother’s day gift. However, few understand the cold chain complexity it takes to deliver beautiful flowers to mom. Ordering flowers online from your mobile device to your mother’s front door is more complicated than you think. Let’s explore!

The Cold Chain

Delivering flowers involves a cold chain that spans continents and demands speed, logistics, as well as refrigeration of a standard 38 degrees. Many of the flowers delivered to the U.S. around Mother’s Day are grown in Latin America. They need to be cut at dawn, packed in temperature-controlled coolers, and shipped to the local airport in reefer containers. In many cases, the flowers are flown to Miami international airport.

Miami serves as the distribution hub for most flowers the United States imports. In Miami, there is a 24-hour inspection process, ahead of proper cold chain delivery to flower distributors. The flowers are then transported in refrigerated trucks once again. Upon arrival, the distribution center will store the flowers in a warehouse with temperature monitoring. Lastly, the flowers are packaged, shipped, and displayed as fresh-cut flowers in stores.

What happens if the cold chain is disrupted at any point?

For example, if the truck refrigeration unit fails, companies lose a lot of money. An average truck carries 700 to 800 boxes of flowers. Each box has an approximate value of around $250. Therefore, one faulty refrigeration unit could easily cost upwards of $180,000 in lost inventory.

Introducing the Internet of Things in Logistics

The Internet of things (IoT) technology can save companies in the floral industry if something goes wrong. With sensors that monitor the temperature inside delivery vehicles, the drivers, and logistics coordinators are able to act:

  • Know when a refrigeration unit is too hot or too cold
  • Receive alerts for when the freezer system requires maintenance
  • Obtain real-time information necessary to save shipments from spoiling

Decreasing damage and waste by as little as 10 percent can result in millions of dollars in savings. With IoT cold chain solutions at hand, the quality of flowers will also increase.


Nebraska Warehouse wishes all the mother’s out there a Happy Mother’s Day!


Additional Information: CBP puts petal to the metal for Mother’s Day

Cannonball Express Transportation

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