Miami sees bright future alongside Latin America

Clearly feeling the unavoidable sting of the global economic downturn, Miami International Airport is looking to late 2009 and early 2010 for a turnaround in its substantial perishables business with its long term future securely anchored in Latin American traffic.

Chris Mangos freighter service global cargo landing fee Miami Int'l Airport

Miami International Airport (MIA), long regarded North America’s gateway to the Americas and a major transit hub for Latin American grown flowers and produce America, is challenged like airports worldwide. Last year the world’s 10th busiest cargo airport handled 1.92 million tonnes of cargo, but circumstances have clearly changed.

“No singular economic or tragic event in the last quarter-century has demonstrated such drops in cargo activity in MIA’s history,” states Chris Mangos, MIA marketing manager.

For the first third of 2009, average quantities of MIA’s international and total freight dropped 24 per cent. Traffic related to the Latin American/Caribbean region is down 19 per cent based on performance from 26 carriers; Mexico, down 12 per cent from three carriers; and Asia, down 36 per cent from three carriers.

“Surprisingly, Europe performed and continues to perform better for us, with first third of 2009 performance down just 7 per cent from 10 carriers,” Mangos reports.

Airport officials are now waiting for January-June 2009 tallies where they expect figures to be somewhat better, with the months of May and June showing smaller overall losses in the17-19 per cent range.


“Hopes of announced increases in manufacturing and production in China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan will spell enhanced imports from Asia and exports to Latin America for us,” he says. “Late 2009/early 2010 may also turn diminished perishables import numbers around as opposite growing seasons in the southern hemisphere begin to produce those products.”