Miami named as the first pharma hub in the US

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LAN Airline Boeing 787 at Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport has been named as the first pharmaceutical freight hub in the US by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The gateway was made designated partner in IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharmaceuticals Certification programme at the Air Cargo America’s conference and exhibition in Miami (US) today.

Miami is the second airport around the globe to be made a partner joining Brussels Airport and to achieve it brought together a pharma community, including cargo airlines, ground handlers and freight forwarders, who will now undergo specialised training through IATA’s CEIV programme.

Miami was recognised for organising its pharma logistics providers to undergo IATA’s initiative, which certifies products are transported in accordance with global best practices.

The designation by IATA also highlights the airport’s leadership as a safe and efficient logistics hub for high-value and temperature-sensitive pharma.

Miami is run by Miami-Dade Aviation department and its director Emilio Gonzalez, says: “As the first designated pharma freight hub in the US, we have the goal and expectation of increasing as well as attracting new pharma business from untapped markets across the globe.”

Gonzalez says last year $3.3 billion worth of pharma products were moved through Miami, and pharma cargo at the hub has risen by 79 per cent since 2010.

Pharma he says, is a $300 billion industry and will be worth $400 billion in the next three years and Miami is aiming to tap into the opportunity the market presents and continue the boom.

“With this designation our expectation we will quickly be the go to airports for pharma products. We can only grow and grow, and this designation brands Miami as the airport of choice for pharma,” Gonzalez adds.

Gonzalez says the airport has been working with IATA on being made a designated pharma hub as wanted to tap into the extensive opportunities in the market, so it can expand its cargo business and not just handle fish, flowers and fruit, which have always been the staple cargo moved through Miami airport.

He explains that the likes of American Airlines Cargo and LAN Cargo are set to be involved in the programme at Miami and says six or seven air cargo operators will be part of the community.

Gonzales adds Miami is also looking at attracting and specialising in other industries to grow its cargo volumes such as the manufacturing industry.