“Not many U.S. airports are as involved as we are when it comes to insuring that cargo has and maintains adequate staffing levels for federal inspection agencies and the inspectors responsible for the regulatory and security procedures for air imports and exports.”
The focus of MIA and the entire Miami trade community is keeping product flowing in and out of the airport and making sure MIA remains competitive in the cargo space, he emphasizes.
“Trade facilitation also stretches to the multi-modal transportation of goods to and from the airport,” says Mangos. “In our case, we have worked with the Florida Department of Transportation to assure that roadways are keeping up with demand from trucking companies that carry much of the perishables from our warehouses to markets as far as west of the Mississippi and north into Canada.”
Currently, MIA offers 17 cargo warehouses totaling 2.7+ million square feet. Most of the airport’s facilities also feature airside-to-landside access, which is desirable for multimodal cargo shipments to and from MIA. In addition, construction is underway for a new 895,000 square foot, multipurpose air cargo facility for the Centurion air cargo group of carriers. The new facility will accommodate eight Boeing 747-400 equivalent wide body freighters and is scheduled for completion in December 2013.
Even still, there is demand for new facilities. Scott Pribula, an executive with transportation consulting firm TranSystems, remarks that, “We’re seeing an increased need for cold storage facilities at or near airports and ports. The developments that we have seen over the past six to eight months confirm this,” he says. Recently, TranSystems has gotten requests for cold storage facilities in Seattle and Memphis.
The cold storage facilities that are being constructed are highly energy efficient, adds Pribula. For instance, cascade refrigeration systems that use multiple refrigerants are popular, as is equipment that can repurpose heat exhaust from the refrigeration units to heat floors or office space. Furthermore, facilities are also getting taller, sometimes up to 100 feet, in order to accommodate increased automation and AS/RS systems, Pribula says.