Miami International Airport was named “Best Freighter Hub” in the world at last night’s Freighters World Conference Awards ceremony, in recognition of its excellence in the global air cargo sector over the past year. Judged by a panel of industry experts, MIA was chosen based on two criteria: how it has improved the air cargo supply chain based in and around it; and how it has made investments to improve the airline experience when loading and unloading cargo. MIA beat out five other top cargo hub finalists to earn the award: dnata Dubai World Central (United Arab Emirates); Emirates SkyCentral at Al Maktoum International Airport (UAE); Frankfurt Airport (Germany); Liege Airport (Belgium); and Singapore Changi Airport.
The inaugural Freighters World Awards were presented at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, as part of the Freighters World Conference. The awards also included the categories of Best Charter Logistics Project, Best Freighter Operator, and Innovator of the Year.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, said: “Congratulations to the MIA team for this well-deserved recognition of the world-class cargo airport we have in Miami-Dade County. Already the busiest international freight airport in the U.S. and the 10th busiest in the world, MIA continues to leverage that position by expanding its cargo network and infusing new business revenue and job creation into our community.”
MIA has been steam-rolling through 2017 to its best year ever for freight tonnage, with 8.9 per cent growth domestically and 3.2 per cent internationally through August. In year-over-year freight tonnage through June, shipments on Mexican carriers to/from MIA skyrocketed 308 percent, Middle East carriers leaped by 114 per cent, European carriers jumped 11.7 per cent and Asian carriers increased by 10 percent.
The surge in freight volume can partially be attributed to MIA adding six new all-cargo airlines in the last 16 months: TACA Peru began four weekly freighter flights from five South American cities in August; Mexico-based Aeronaves TSM commenced 10 weekly flights from Cancun in March; Qatar Airways launched two weekly cargo flights in February from Doha, with stops in Luxembourg, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Quito, and Liege; Mexican freighter airline AeroUnion began two weekly flights to Mexico City and Mérida last December; U.S. freighter airline Northern Air Cargo launched four weekly charter cargo flights to San Juan, Saint Martin, Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince last November; U.S. carrier 21 Air began six weekly frequencies between MIA and Bogotá, and two weekly flights on a triangular route between MIA, Panama City and Guatemala City, also last November; and Canadian airline KF Cargo launched six weekly charter freight flights to Bogota, Caracas and Lima last April.
Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González added: “We are extremely honored to be recognized by Freighters World with its inaugural Best Freighter Hub Award, and especially to be chosen from such an elite group of airports from around the globe,”. “We’ve made tremendous efforts in the last year to expand and diversify our cargo business, so it is gratifying to receive this prestigious award for our hard work. We look forward to introducing additional improvements in the coming years for our current and prospective cargo partners.”