04:00 AM

MIA named “Best Freighter Hub” in the world

Panel of air cargo experts rank airport above other top global hubs

Miami International Airport was named “Best Freighter Hub” in the world at last night’s Freighters World Conference Awards ceremony, in recognition of its excellence in the global air cargo sector over the past year. Judged by a panel of industry experts, MIA was chosen based on two criteria: how it has improved the air cargo supply chain based in and around it; and how it has made investments to improve the airline experience when loading and unloading cargo. MIA beat out five other top cargo hub finalists to earn the award: dnata Dubai World Central (United Arab Emirates); Emirates SkyCentral at Al Maktoum International Airport (UAE); Frankfurt Airport (Germany); Liege Airport (Belgium); and Singapore Changi Airport.

The inaugural Freighters World Awards were presented at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, as part of the Freighters World Conference. The awards also included the categories of Best Charter Logistics Project, Best Freighter Operator, and Innovator of the Year.

Congratulations to the MIA team for this well-deserved recognition of the world-class cargo airport we have in Miami-Dade County. Already the busiest international freight airport in the U.S. and the 10th busiest in the world, MIA continues to leverage that position by expanding its cargo network and infusing new business revenue and job creation into our community.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez

MIA has been steam-rolling through 2017 to its best year ever for freight tonnage, with 8.9 percent growth domestically and 3.2 percent internationally through August. In year-over-year freight tonnage through June, shipments on Mexican carriers to/from MIA skyrocketed 308 percent, Middle East carriers leaped by 114 percent, European carriers jumped 11.7 percent and Asian carriers increased by 10 percent.

The Best Freighter Hub Award is confirmation from a global industry leader regarding the value that MIA brings to Miami-Dade County. MIA continues to be our community’s largest economic engine, and the billions of dollars in cargo that flow through it annually are a huge part of that success.
Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners Chairman Esteban L. Bovo

The surge in freight volume can partially be attributed to MIA adding six new all-cargo airlines in the last 16 months: TACA Peru began four weekly freighter flights from five South American cities in August; Mexico-based Aeronaves TSM commenced 10 weekly flights from Cancun in March; Qatar Airways launched two weekly cargo flights in February from Doha, with stops in Luxembourg, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Quito, and Liege; Mexican freighter airline AeroUnion began two weekly flights to Mexico City and Mérida last December; U.S. freighter airline Northern Air Cargo launched four weekly charter cargo flights to San Juan, Saint Martin, Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince last November; U.S. carrier 21 Air began six weekly frequencies between MIA and Bogotá, and two weekly flights on a triangular route between MIA, Panama City and Guatemala City, also last November; and Canadian airline KF Cargo launched six weekly charter freight flights to Bogota, Caracas and Lima last April.

Our airport is to be commended for once again being recognized as one of the best in the world. This notable achievement reiterates that MIA is a truly global gateway, for both passengers and cargo.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, Chairperson of the County’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee

In addition to record-setting growth, the Best Freighter Hub award also recognized MIA for several business innovations and facility enhancements it has made to improve its cargo operations in the last year, namely:

  • Since MIA was designated a pharmaceutical freight hub by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2015 for organizing nine of its logistics providers to undergo IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) program, four companies at MIA have achieved the certification and pharma freight shipments at MIA jumped 48 percent in value year-over-year to $4.4 billion in 2016.
  • To further leverage its IATA designation in the global market, MIA joined forces in 2016 with Brussels Airport to co-found Pharma.Aero - a global network focused on improving pharma handling and quality in the air cargo industry. Through June, the organization has grown to 16 members and now includes many of the world’s leading pharma freight airports, logistics providers and manufacturers.
  • Through a partnership with IATA, MIA became one of the first six U.S. cargo hub airports in 2016 to launch the e-AWB 360 campaign – a global effort to eliminate printing costs, replace manual data entry with a more efficient and reliable digital system, and pave the way toward a completely e-freight cargo industry.
  • Also in 2016, through a permit approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), MIA implemented Florida’s first-ever ocean-to-air perishables trans-shipment program. The program now allows MIA to receive perishable freight imports by sea via expedited federal processing and waived customs, and then have them shipped by air - saving both time and money for cargo shippers.
  • MDAD launched a multi-million dollar facility improvement program at MIA in 2016 as well, which includes new surveillance cameras and lighting throughout the airport’s cargo area to improve already vigilant security monitoring, situational awareness, crime deterrence, and overall safety of MIA and cargo partner property.
  • In 2017, MIA became the first U.S. airport to launch a web-based cargo flight information display system. MIA’s Cargo Tracker, developed by MDAD and web designer Flight Global, now allows airlines, freight forwarders and logistics providers to easily view real-time cargo flight information digitally on their mobile device while they are on the go.
We are extremely honored to be recognized by Freighters World with its inaugural Best Freighter Hub Award, and especially to be chosen from such an elite group of airports from around the globe. We’ve made tremendous efforts in the last year to expand and diversify our cargo business, so it is gratifying to receive this prestigious award for our hard work. We look forward to introducing additional improvements in the coming years for our current and prospective cargo partners.
Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González

Freighters World, published quarterly as an A4 magazine, provides readers expert analysis of the global cargo logistics industry. Its sister publication, Air Cargo News, has been recognized as one of the world’s leading air cargo publications for more than 30 years.

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