With the Christmas holidays upon us and Valentine’s Day not far behind, it’s important to focus on the current floral supply chain situation. As we covered in the September issue of LivRio, supply challenges are continuing, and there’s no sign that these will improve any time soon. That’s why it’s crucial to plan your floral orders early and spread them out over time, and one of the best ways to do this is by prebooking. This article will explain why the freight issues are such a concern and what you can do to stay on top of your floral orders during the year’s busiest season.
Freight Challenges Will Continue Through Valentine’s Day
Airfreight capacity continues to be a significant concern for floral importers and distributors. According to FreightWaves (a company that analyzes, monitors, and forecasts freight logistics), passenger planes carry about half of the world’s air cargo. And currently, international air capacity is about 70 percent below pre-pandemic levels. That means very little space on these planes for flowers, and any available space comes at a much higher price.
Another factor is that airlines need to make money on cargo going both ways: While flowers and produce are coming into Miami from South America, there isn’t much cargo going in the other direction. Some airlines are diverting their cargo planes to areas where they can ship both ways to deal with this. For the aircraft remaining on the Miami to South America route, the airlines are charging the importers a surcharge to make up for the cost of the outbound flight.
A third factor is the delay caused by labor shortages, mechanical difficulties, and other issues in the airline industry since the pandemic. These delayed flights have created shipping backlogs, and importers must either wait for their shipments or charter a plane.
When you consider all these factors, the cost to move flowers by air has doubled and is likely to triple. And the holidays add to the increased cost.
With all the freight issues currently, it’s crucial to plan out floral deliveries in advance and spread orders out to have the inventory you need through the holidays. This is particularly important for Valentine’s Day, which is just around the corner.
The Many Advantages of Prebooking
Ordering early and spacing out orders is why prebooking is vital. Prebooking will allow you to get a fresher, better selection of flowers throughout the coming months, particularly for Valentine’s Day. But that’s only one of the many advantages of prebooking. Here are a few more:
- You’ll save money and increase margins by receiving advance pricing on the following month’s products.
- By ordering ahead, you save time because you’re able to plan how to market and sell the flowers before they arrive.
- You can have better control of your inventory. You’ll determine how much to buy before the first release of an item and understand what to keep in inventory after the initial release.
- By prebooking now, you’ll increase your odds of having a wider selection for Valentine’s Day.
- Your customers commit to purchasing from you when placing their orders, which will increase your overall cash flow.
- As prebook orders come in, they can generate a buzz that keeps your team motivated to sell even more.
Yes, prebooking has many advantages. And now, with so many freight constraints, prebooking is a must specially for Valentine’s Day. If you’ve got any questions about prebooking, contact us for information and get your orders in early!