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MIA and FedEx Express gear up for Mother’s Day flower shipments

Mother’s Day is considered the busiest time of year for flower imports  

May 4, 2022

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, is getting ready to receive millions of pounds of flowers before Mother’s Day, the busiest holiday for the U.S. floral industry.

FedEx Express projects a 35 percent increase year over year in flower shipments from Latin American countries—primarily Ecuador and Colombia—that will make their way into its recently expanded Miami Hub and then to homes across the U.S.  

“FedEx Express is proud to play an instrumental role in celebrating mothers across the U.S. with fresh flower deliveries. Leading up to Mother’s Day, our teams have been working to expand capacity in our warehouses and flights,” said Basil Khalil, Vice President of Operations of FedEx Express. “We are delighted to work with the Miami International Airport, using our expanded facility to ensure perishable goods, such as flowers, are preserved throughout the shipment process.”  

Mother’s Day spending is expected to total $31.7 billion this year, with 72 percent of shoppers planning to buy flowers, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation. By comparison, Americans spent more than $24 billion on Valentine’s Day, with 37 percent of shoppers buying flowers. 

In 2021, MIA received 89 percent of all flowers imported to the U.S. by air, which amounted to more than 327,000 tons of cut flowers valued at nearly $1.6 billion. MIA’s flower imports in 2021 increased by 39 percent in weight over 2020, and the Association of Flower Importers of Florida projects a 10-percent increase in flower shipments this Mother’s Day season compared to last year.  

FedEx recently completed a major expansion of its air cargo hub located at Miami International Airport. The $72.2 million expansion added more than 138,000 square feet to the main sort facility, bringing it to a total of more than 282,000 square feet.  The enhancements included a new 70,000-square-foot cold chain facility, the largest in the FedEx global network, and a new customs clearance and sort area to enable shorter times throughout the entire customs clearance process. 

With its International Priority DirectDistribution® (IPD) service, FedEx ensures that the export process begins the same day the flowers are cut. This provides FedEx customers with the ability to consolidate multiple bunches from the crops of origin into a single shipment, transport them and release them through customs as a single package. FedEx then delivers the flowers directly to their multiple final destinations throughout the North American territory. 

MIA continues to rank as the busiest airport in the U.S. and the ninth busiest in the world for international freight, which is why partnering with international logistics and shipping companies is so crucial to the circulation of these goods during their peak season.