MIA freight blooms on flower power


Total freight at Miami International Airport grew by 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014 year over year.

The first quarter saw more than 500,000 tonnes of air cargo.

International freight shipments increased by 3.3 percent, a number buoyed by the annual influx of Valentine’s Day flowers that arrive at MIA on their way from the growing regions of Latin America to destinations across the U.S. In all, U.S. Customs and Border protection estimates that 398.5 million stems of cut flowers arrived at MIA between Jan. 27 and Feb. 14. Annually, more than 91 percent of all flower imports to the U.S. come through MIA.

The uptick in international freight offset a 5.2-percent dip in domestic freight, which accounted for just 12.5 percent of the total freight tonnage.

Meanwhile, total passenger traffic at MIA grew by 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

“The positive momentum that carried MIA through 2013 has continued right into 2014, and we’re very excited for what’s to come, whether it’s on the passenger or freight side of the business,” Emilio T. González, Miami-Dade aviation director, said. “The many stories behind these statistics – new jobs for locals, new investment in our community and increased global access for residents and visitors alike – are every bit as important as the numbers themselves.”

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