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Miami to permanently host large air cargo trade show 

Thousands attending TIACA industry event this week with Florida on hurricane watch

The International Air Transport Association says it will return to Miami every two years for its big exhibition. (Photo: Shutterstock: Richard Cavalleri)

(UPDATED Nov. 9, 2022, 8:20 p.m. EST)

MIAMI — Nearly 4,000 people are in Miami to attend The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) conference that runs Tuesday through Thursday, but an uninvited guest named Nicole has the potential to upset some plans.

TIACA Director General Glyn Hughes said in an interview Monday that registration for the semiannual Air Cargo Forum stands at 3,795, much higher than expected after a four-year pause due to the COVID crisis. 

More than 220 companies are exhibiting at the trade show, held at the Miami Beach Convention Center. A smaller conference held in conjunction with the event will focus on topics such as market conditions for air cargo, decarbonization, adoption of digital technologies and the role of airports in supporting trade.

The strong participation numbers “reinforces to TIACA the value this event has, which is bringing people in the industry together to network, to exchange business ideas,” said Hughes.

The number of exhibitors and attendees will rank near the top forums ever held by TIACA, although Hughes said comparisons are difficult because the event has rotated to different locations around the world with varying degrees of ability to generate turnout. 

The schedule will change going forward, with Miami becoming the permanent home of the Air Cargo Forum beginning in 2024, officials said. Instead, the trade association will host its smaller Executive Summit in different locations and hold regional symposiums, the first of which was held this year in Amsterdam. Officials disclosed on Wednesday that the 2023 regional events will be held in Delhi, India, in late March and Nairobi, Kenya, in June, and the Executive Summit will be in Brussels, Belgium, Nov. 6-8.

TIACA’s main office is located in Miami. Miami International Airport is a major cargo hub for trade between the U.S., Latin America and Europe. 

“Organizing such a big exhibition every time in a different place is not only difficult to get attendance but also a big financial risk because every time you are starting again from the first time,” explained Chairman Steven Polmans, the vice president of business development and free zone regulatory affairs at Abu Dhabi Airports. “So now we are going to have a fixed location for the ACF, which will be in Miami, and our conference, which was in  Miami, will move around globally.” 

Subtropical Storm Nicole is expected to hit Florida’s east coast north of Miami on Wednesday night. In Miami, the storm will bring heavy rain and some flooding, but is not forecast to cause major problems. The Air Cargo Forum is continuing as scheduled.

More FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at [email protected]