Miami International Airport (MIA) ranked seventh by value of shipments among all international air gateways in the United States, and twenty-second overall by value among all freight gateways—airports, seaports, and land ports in 2003. About 4 percent ($23 billion) of the value of all U.S. international air freight moved through MIA in 2003. By weight, MIA ranked second among all air gateways with 16 percent of U.S. international air cargo moving through it.
MIA is a major hub for trade with Latin American countries—the only air gateway of the top 25 gateways that has major partners in countries other than Pacific-Rim countries. By weight, Colombia was the major destination for exports and the leading origin country for imports through MIA on nonstop international flight segments in 2003. International merchandise trade with Colombia alone accounted for more than 27 percent of the weight of all air cargo handled at MIA in 2003. The other key origin countries for imports through MIA are Ecuador and Chile. Along with Colombia, these three countries are origin points for 50 percent of import tonnage through MIA. The other key destinations for exports through MIA include Brazil and Mexico, which together with Colombia account for 40 percent of exports through MIA. The origin and destination markets for MIA are similar to the origin and destination points for nonstop international flight segments.1
The majority of MIA’s air cargo imports are perishable products, including flowers, fruits, vegetables, and seafood plus some assembled clothing. MIA’s air export cargo includes computers and peripherals, machinery, medical equipment, telecommunications equipment, agricultural machinery, apparel articles, and aircraft parts.2
Since 1999, the overall value of international merchandise trade through MIA has declined by 2 percent—exports have decreased by 8 percent while imports grew by 9 percent in value. During the same period, the overall weight of air freight through MIA rose by 3 percent—imports tonnage increased 19 percent while the export tonnage declined by 15 percent.
United Parcel Service is the major U.S. air carrier for imports and exports, accounting for over 9 percent of the weight of all air freight through MIA in 2003. The other major carriers were Panamericanos, S.A. (Tampa Airlines) of Colombia and Atlas Air. In total, these top 3 air carriers moved 29 percent of imports and 26 percent of exports in 2003. MIA is embarking on a major modernization plan to improve its cargo facilities and to accommodate the anticipated growth in trade volume over the next few years.
1 Based on Form 41 International Market Data from the Office of Airline Information, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
2 Available from MIA website at http://www.miami-airport.com/html/ cargo_facts.html as of Oct. 7, 2004.