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FedEx Newsroom

FedEx Delivers Longer Vase Life for Flowers for Valentine’s Day

February 4, 2009

AMSTERDAM, Feb. 04, 2009 – Fresh-cut flowers last longer if transported via express delivery instead of traditional methods, according to a recent study from a leading Florida university commissioned by FedEx.

The study, The Impact of Floral Transport Techniques on Quality and Longevity of Fresh Cut Flowers, revealed that express transportation solutions extend the vase life of fresh-cut flowers by an average of one to six days. 

“The Netherlands ship 44 million flowers a day, including 13 million roses. During the build-up to Valentines Day, this increases by 50 to 60% per day, making the findings highly relevant to the Dutch flower trade, as 85% of the country’s flowers are exported,” said Patrick Stienlet, managing director, Operations for FedEx Express, Benelux.

The study focused on flowers shipped on the day of harvest from Colombia to the United States using FedEx Express International Priority® (next-business-day) and FedEx Express International Priority DirectDistribution® (three-business-day) services.  The research showed an increase in quality when compared with flowers shipped using traditional transportation methods.  

“The spike in shipments in the lead up to Valentine’s Day stems from the sharp increase in the number of goods like flowers being dispatched across the region,” said Stienlet. “Our flower transportation solutions are designed to help our customers deliver the freshest and best-quality flowers in the industry.  In our experience, Valentine’s Day is the most important holiday for flower growers exporting to the United States.” 

FedEx offers select transportation solutions in the Netherlands, offering customers cost-effective, customized services that meet the special export needs for their cargo and perishable goods. They combine the benefits of consolidated customs clearance with the FedEx Express air and ground delivery infrastructure in the U.S., offering exporters a tailored, door-to-door, airport-to-door or door-to-airport solutions through a single, reliable provider.  The solutions include options for FedEx International Priority(next-business-day, door-to-door delivery service) and FedEx International Priority DirectDistribution(delivery time from one to two business days). 

About the study

The one-year study, conducted between January 2007 and January 2008, consisted of 12 monthly trials that observed the effects of three different floral transportation techniques on a predetermined variety of flowers shipped from Colombia flower farm customers.

The three transportation methods evaluated were:
  • FedEx International Priority next-business-day service from Bogota, Colombia to the
United States (Gainesville, Florida)
  • FedEx International Priority DirectDistribution three-business-day service from Bogota, Colombia to the United States (Gainesville, Florida)
  • Traditional transportation (averaging four to five days of transit) of flowers flown from Bogota, Colombia to Miami and pre-cooled and trucked from Miami to Gainesville, Florida.
The study reports the following results for the FedEx flower transportation services:
  • FedEx International Priority Service improved the vase life of roses and alstroemeria by an average of two days.
  • FedEx International Priority Direct Distribution Service improved the vase life for all of the varieties of roses and alstroemeria by an average of 1.8 days (with the exception of the Vendela Rose).
  • FedEx flower services outperformed traditional transport methods and extended the vase life for all of the carnation and gerbera flower varieties by an average of one day (with the exception of the Lorka Gerbera).
  • FedEx transportation solutions enhanced the vase life of one gerbera variety by six days.

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