Open Access Article

Title: How Miami became the gateway for flowers in the USA

Authors: Janaina Siegler

Addresses: Lacy School of Business, Butler University, 625 Butler Way, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA

Abstract: This paper describes the supply chain for cut flowers in the USA, where 80% of all the cut flowers come from Colombia. This is multi-billion market that creates 130,000 jobs in Colombia and is estimated to generate more than 200,000 jobs in the USA related to different businesses in the floral supply chain, such as the US importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers ranging from small florists to mega supermarket chains. The goal was to understand the role of Miami International Airport and how it became the gateway for nine on every ten fresh cut flowers that enter the USA. A case study on the Kroger floral supply chain was performed, and data was analysed under the theory of constraints. Findings indicate that although MIA is not a central location to naturally become a logistics hub for a distribution of such perishable product, because it was able to identify an important system constraint involving cold chain, customs, time, process, and culture; exploit them and organise several of other of its process around them, MIA became the gateway for flowers in the USA.

Keywords: floral supply chain; Miami International Airport; theory of constraints; Colombia; flowers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTCS.2020.111136

International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies, 2020 Vol.11 No.3, pp.208 - 222

Received: 03 Jan 2020
Accepted: 17 May 2020

Published online: 10 Nov 2020 *