March 17, 2012

The Logistics of Saint Patrick’s

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 by: Juliette Senesi 

Juliette is a Product Manager at a Boston-area freight brokerage startup. She is a logistics and shipping geek who has her sights set on transforming the truckload transportation industry.

Saint Patrick’s Day is no small potatoes in Boston. With almost one-third of the city's population being of Irish decent, the celebrations here are spirited and memorable. But while you are getting ready for the fun to start, remember this: St Patrick’s Day would not be St. Patrick’s Day if it wasn’t for the sober drivers who deliver all of the ingredients and goods required for a guaranteed good time.

1. Guinness Madness
Guinness, as you may know, is a popular Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James Gates in Dublin. The ingredients to make Guinness are simple: barely, hops, brewers yeast, and of course, water. On any given day, over 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed around the world. On St. Patrick's Day, that number more than doubles to 13 million pints (according to Beth Davies Ryan, global corporate relations director of Guinness).

Guinness was one of the first beer companies to own a fleet of ships which they used to ship both the raw ingredients and the finish products in ports throughout Europe, and later, worldwide.

2. Corned Beef and Cabbage
The Irish were the biggest exporters of corned beef until 1825. The area of Cork, Ireland was a great producer of corned beef from the 1600s until 1825. It was their chief export and sent all over the world, mostly in cans. Corn beef and cabbage are the staple of any Irish American dinners on St. Patrick’s day.

To this very day, making sure all of the ingredients make it on the table in time to fill our bellies requires a high level of transportation coordination. Earlier this week, it was reported by Barbara Maxwell at the AMS department of the USDA that a shortage of trucks was experienced for cabbage from the lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

3. Lucky Charms
The cereal giant General Mills also reaps the benefits of Saint Patrick’s Day. One of their most popular cereal got its name directly as a result of saint Patrick’s day. The little fellow in green tights on the box was named Lucky as a result of St. Patrick’s.

The leprechaun got his name in 1964 and was placed on boxes of Lucky Charms after General Mills reported that sales of Lucky Charms tripled on St. Patrick's Day from the 2 billion boxes sold worldwide to almost 6 billion boxes.

P.S. Hey there! If you liked this post, I have a hunch you'll love NEON DRUID: An Anthology of Urban Celtic Fantasy. It's a collection of 17 short stories all rooted in Celtic mythology.

P.P.S. You can also check out my new blog, Irish Myths, where I unveil the secrets of Celtic mythology, Irish mythology, and Irish folklore.