As flowers are ordered to be delivered in time for Valentine’s Day, we found the behind-the-scenes logistics equally smile-worthy. One of the major airlines transporting flowers from Latin America is LATAM Cargo, which specializes in making certain that the fragile cargo arrives in the United States and beyond as fresh and beautiful as when it was picked in South America.
More than 140 LATAM Cargo planes (equivalent to B767-300F) took off from Colombia and Ecuador carrying flowers for this year’s Valentine’s day, which along with Mother’s Day represents the peak of fresh flower export activity.
Red and pink roses, mixed bouquets, carnations, chrysanthemums, iris, gypsophila and greenery were all in high demand this Valentine’s Day season. The flowers were transported from Bogota and Medellin in Colombia and from Quito in Ecuador to destinations in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Oceania. This connectivity was made possible thanks to the 140 destinations that make up the LATAM Cargo network, linking Latin America to the rest of the world.
“Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day are peak periods where LATAM Cargo demonstrates its leadership in Latin America by successfully completing a highly complex operation,” said Felipe Caballero, Commercial Director for Central and Northern South America, LATAM Cargo. “We have the expertise to increase frequencies and meet our customers’ needs. We are dynamic and rigorous in our operation, and even when demand spikes, we can tackle the challenge of maintaining the cold chain so that these flowers retain their freshness and quality. In this way, we are helping to boost Colombia’s and Ecuador’s positions as major global producers of fresh flowers.
To satisfy the demand, LATAM Cargo, the leader in air cargo transportation to, from and within Latin America, increased its cargo frequencies in Colombia from 12 to 23 flights during the busiest week. Similarly, in Ecuador, the company increased its frequencies from 10 to 31 cargo flights during peak operation times. In total, they more than doubled transport options for 4,180 tons of fresh flowers from Colombia and 4,920 from Ecuador.
The main importer of this season’s flowers was the United States. The city of Miami was particularly relevant, as it received 8,050 tons, equivalent to 88 percent of the flowers transported by LATAM Cargo during the Valentine’s Day holiday, almost doubling regular traffic. Miami is one of the world’s largest distribution hubs and home to the cargo operations of LATAM Airlines Group.
Miami was trailed only by Amsterdam with 500 tons, and Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Madrid and Paris to lesser extents. Flowers were also flown into New York, Santiago and New Zealand, among other destinations.
Colombia and Ecuador are the main producers shipping flowers to the United States, the Netherlands and China, among other destinations. The Bogota savanna in Colombia is the country’s main flower growing area, with 70 percent of production. It is followed by the Eastern Antioquia region with 25 percent, with other areas across the country making up the difference. In the savanna, the municipality of Madrid has the largest number of hectares planted, although other areas like Funza, El Rosal, Chía, Cajicá, Facatativá, Tocancipá and Tenjo also stand out as large producers.
In Eastern Antioquia, the main production zone is La Ceja, followed by Rionegro, Guarne, La Unión, El Carmen de Viboral and the municipality of Santa Elena.
In Ecuador, flower production concentrates in the areas of Cayambe and El Quinche, which account for almost 60 percent of all roses exported, and Latacunga with approximately 1,000 hectares planted. The province of Azuay also produces large numbers of flowers.
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Amtrak Offers BOGO Valentine’s Day Tickets
Amtrak has announced a Valentine’s Day Buy One Get One Free Sale. From Thursday, February 13, through Monday, February 17, customers can buy one coach ticket and get the second free for nationwide travel between March 9and August 30, 2020, with no blackout dates. Customers can receive discounted tickets by using the code V214 at checkout or at amtrak.com/valentines-day-sale.
Amtrak is offering a great way for customers and their loved ones to travel for a weekend away or on a leisurely vacation. From couples to moms, to friends, to every loved one, Amtrak encourages individuals to give more than chocolates, flowers, and valentines this year. Instead, consider gifting a trip on Amtrak with a two for the price of one, Buy One Get One Free Sale.
The discount is valid for travel across the national network including most long-distance routes as well as the Acela, Adirondack, Carolinian/Piedmont,Cascades, Downeaster, Downstate Illinois Services, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Heartland Flyer, Maple Leaf, Michigan Services, Missouri River Runner, Northeast Regional, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter and reserved sections of the Pennsylvanian and Keystone Service. Two customers can travel together in coach for as low as:
New York – Washington, D.C (Acela) $183
Los Angeles – Seattle $126
Washington, D.C. – Boston (Acela) $192
Seattle – Portland, OR $36
Washington, D.C. – Chicago $105
San Francisco – Denver $149
San Francisco – Los Angeles $66.50
New York – Atlanta $164
New York – Washington, D.C.$98
Chicago – St. Louis$31
Los Angeles – Albuquerque $86
St. Louis – Kansas City $36
Portland, ME – Boston $29
Richmond, VA – Charlotte $54
Detroit – Chicago $40
Washington, D.C. – Orlando $139
Fares will vary by train
Being able to easily travel to/from city centers, Amtrak has one of the most generous baggage policies in the travel industry, applicable for two personal items and two carry-on bags. Amtrak also offers the freedom to use phones and electronic devices at all times (no “airplane mode”), the ability to travel with small pets on many trains, large spacious seats with ample legroom and no middle seat.
This sale is valid for one free companion rail fare traveling on the same reservation as one full adult coach fare. This offer is valid for travel on all reserved service except the Auto Train. Adults must travel together and be booked in the same reservation. Valid for coach seats only; no upgrades allowed. This offer is not combinable with any other discount offer. All prices will be automatically discounted from the standard fare when accessing this promotion at amtrak.com/valentines-day-sale or by using the discount code (V214) when booking their trip. Other terms and conditions apply.
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