Global gateways discuss best practices for perishable cargo
Fresh off the busy Valentine’s Day flower import peak season, Miami International Airport and Brussels Airport (BRU) hosted the first-ever Fresh and Flowers Forum on March 9 during the Air Cargo Americas/Supply Chain Americas Show Conference, where experts from both cargo communities shared perishable shipping best practices with conference attendees from around the world.
The Forum included presentations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and leading cargo airlines and logistics providers serving MIA and BRU, as well as panel discussions focused on the efficient handling and trans-shipment of perishables. Panelists will include representatives from Amerijet; Avianca; DSV Air & Sea; C.H. Robinson; Dnata; Deny Cargo; IFA Skyfast; LATAM Airlines; the Association of Floral Importers of Florida; and Nallian.
Consistent growth in the shipments of perishable products, which make up 76 percent of all imports to MIA annually, is a big reason why our airport set a new record of 2.7 million tons of total freight in 2021 for our second consecutive year of growth. We were proud to partner with Brussels Airport on our first Fresh and Flower Forum, to share the wealth of knowledge gained from both our cargo communities with our industry colleagues from around the world.
Jimmy Nares, MIA Marketing Division Section Chief
One of the topics discussed was the opportunities in digitization and creating transparency in both the phytosanitary and operational processes, as well as collaboration between all different stakeholders. Also, the importance of adequate infrastructure for these special products was discussed, specifically first-line inspection capacity as well as suitable temperature-controlled storage for when things take longer as planned.
The biennial Air Cargo Americas/Supply Chain Americas event is the largest air cargo exhibition in the Western Hemisphere, drawing thousands of aviation and logistics executives from around the world to Miami-Dade County.
The aim of the forum is to bring both communities closer together and strengthen the link between Latin America and Europe via Miami. By showing the participants the potential and possibilities at our airports I am sure we can make a difference.
Nathan de Valck of Brussels Airport
MIA and BRU are two regional powerhouses for perishable products, with MIA serving as the busiest cargo gateway for Latin America and the Caribbean, while BRU ranks as one of the leading cargo hubs in Europe. Five freighter airlines currently fly weekly between the two cargo gateways.
Both of our communities represent a huge part of the global expertise and best practices. On a product with slim margins you need to innovate, so low-cost scalable solutions, such as the perishable management app fit perfectly. We are here to help shippers and forwarders to achieve this.
Sam Quintelier of Brussels Airport
MIA handles 70 percent of all perishable imports to the U.S. by air, including 90 percent of all flowers, 69 percent of all fruits and vegetables, and 60 percent of all fish. From January 1 to February 15, MIA expected a total of 1.4 billion flower stems imported for Valentine’s Day, for a 17-percent increase over the same period in 2021.