This fireside chat recap is from Day 1 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week. Day 1 focuses on the military, aerospace and manufacturing.
FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Gateway to Latin America
DETAILS: Miami International Airport is the cargo hub for the Americas. Flowers, fresh fruit, seafood, machinery and other products transfer there between U.S. destinations and Latin America and Europe. MIA had a record year for cargo in 2020 despite the COVID pandemic. Pineda discusses why Miami continues to grow with cargo operations and how it organized the cargo community to make sure pharmaceutical companies were confident that COVID-19 vaccines could be handled quickly and efficiently.
SPEAKER: Emir Pineda, manager of aviation and trade logistics, Miami-Dade Aviation Department
BIO: Pineda began his career at Miami International Airport in 1988 as an intern and eventually spent 20 years as director of cargo trade development at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, a consultant at Leigh Fisher Associates, marketing director at Air France/KLM Martinair Cargo, and commercial route development manager for Cargolux. He returned to MIA in 2015.
KEY QUOTES FROM PINEDA:
“Last year we experienced a 2.5% increase in cargo volume, so we’re at 2.3 million tons of cargo being handled. That’s a record for us. … We have over 30 freighter operators here at the airport serving over 120 destinations. That obviously helped us when the groundings happened because all that cargo that was in the bellies moved over to the freighter operations.”
“Miami is going to be a key point for the distribution of the [COVID-19] vaccines. We also expect a lot of vaccines to be coming in from Europe and from Asia that will be transiting Miami to Latin America when those vaccines are bought by countries in that part of the world.”
“The airport plays that facilitator role to focus on the common goal of distribution of the vaccines, because saving people’s lives is what it’s all about. The more efficient, the more effective we are in the distribution process the more lives we’re going to be able to save. And that means cooperating and collaborating with each other.”