The Logistics of Love

The Logistics of Love

Valentine’s Day shopping and supply chain stats to melt your heart.

Whether you plan to indulge with roses and chocolates or skip the love fest entirely, Valentine’s Day is upon us. Both boon and bane for shippers around the globe, Valentine’s Day has an undeniable impact on marketing, sales, and supply chain for many industries—and the holiday wouldn’t take place at all without a Cupid’s arrow’s worth of help from the logistics and transportation sector. Behind the scenes, logistics plays a pivotal role in ensuring the seamless execution of this romantic occasion. 

Here are some statistics to help tell the love story:

Consumers Will Spend Extravagantly This Year

  • Valentine’s Day will be one of the first big commercial holidays of 2024. According to the National Retail Federation, 53% of consumers plan to celebrate.
  • Those consumers are prepared to spend an average of $185
  • The total expenditure will be a doozy, with consumer spending estimated to reach nearly $25.8 billion, which is about the same as last year.
  • Despite the steady spending trend over the last few years, 2024 will not beat 2020’s record of $27.4 billion.
  • However, spending on significant others is anticipated to reach a record $14.2 billion.

(Source: Thomas Insights)

What’s Everyone Buying for Valentine’s Day Gifts?

  • The most commonly bought gift will be the tastiest: candy, with 57% of consumers prepping to supply sweets to their romantic partners and friends.
  • In comparison, only 22% have their sights—and checkbooks—set on purchasing jewelry. Still, consumers are expected to splash out $5.5 billion for the shiny stuff.
  • A “gift of experience,” such as a night out, can be equally treasured. More than 30% of people plan to go out for a romantic holiday date.
  • Don’t forget the flowers. The iconic Valentine’s flower, the rose, is a failsafe option. That’s why more than 250 million are grown just for this holiday.
  • A heartfelt card is just as essential. More than 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every year.
  • Spending can vary significantly per demographic, and 62% of consumers ages 25-34 plan to celebrate this year, more than any other age group.

(Source: Thomas Insights)

Chocolate Conundrum

While chocolate is always a top choice, fewer lovers may be gifting chocolate this year thanks to high cocoa prices and issues with the crop. 

  • According to according to Everstream Analytics, global cocoa prices are at a 40-50 year high due to extreme weather, disease, and geopolitical issues. Additionally, cocoa prices have jumped nearly 15 percent since November and are nearly 65 percent higher than they were a year ago. 
  • Cocoa futures are also higher than they’ve been in nearly 50 years.
  • According to the USDA, the price of chocolate is rising three times faster than the rate of broader inflation. 

Flower Power

You can’t go wrong giving a gorgeous bouquet of flowers as a Valentine’s gift. But flowers may put the biggest strain on the Valentine supply chain. Getting flowers and other goods on the shelves and in the customer’s hands-on time for February 14 is essential for keeping customers happy and increasing revenue in what is traditionally a slow quarter. And because flowers are fragile, require refrigeration, and are typically transported from afar (the largest exporters of fresh-cut flowers into the U.S. from Latin America are Columbia and Ecuador), it’s not an easy move. 

  • More than 250 million roses are grown alone for the holiday, and suppliers have the precarious task of ensuring the precious buds arrive at retailers and flower shops on time.
  • According to the USDA, 97% of roses and carnations are transported on air freighters between South American and Miami every year. 
  • For the first six weeks of 2023 about 500 temperature-controlled truckloads left Miami every day, moving those flowers across the nation. 
  • According to analytics platform Xeneta, this high demand impacts air cargo rates: In the week ending February 4, the air cargo spot rate from Columbia and Ecuador to Miami increased by 37 percent to $1.45 per kg compared to three weeks prior before the start of the peak season. Air cargo chargeable weight soared 128 percent in the three weeks ending on February 4, while capacity increased by 81 percent in the same period. 

So, while you’re snuggling with your sweetheart on the most romantic day of the year, don’t forget to be grateful for the inner workings of the global supply chain!


Valentine In Action: See how one chocolatier tackles its peak season orders and ongoing e-commerce demand through a 3PL partnership.