Investment in Perishables Handling Pays Off
Consolidated Aviation Services (CAS) has seen an immediate return on the $2.5 million investment to expand its perishables handling center at Miami International Airport.
Throughput climbed to 70,000 tons in the first nine months of 2015, a 400 percent increase on its volumes before the investment.
CAS, the largest air cargo handler in the U.S., more than doubled the size of the facility in 2014 with the addition of a new 18,000 square foot cooler alongside its existing 12,000 square foot perishables building, which opened in 2009. The investment increased the building’s capacity to handle up to 90 unit load devices (ULDs) at one time, added further 16-foot wide airside doors to expedite shipment handling, and introduced a refrigerated dock to handle trucks within a temperature-controlled environment. ULDs are devices that load cargo on aircraft.
A new agriculture inspection facility and walk-in freezer also formed part of the latest expansion as well as multiple cool chambers for fish, flowers, and produce that need to be maintained in specific temperature conditions.
“Miami is a major airport for CAS and one where we have been investing for a number of years to keep pace with the growth of our longstanding customers as well as new airlines that recognize Miami’s strong position in the U.S. market and as a gateway to Latin America,” said Ray Jetha, senior vice president of sales and marketing at CAS. “The improvements to our perishables handling center have helped us manage the increased demand for our services and we will invest again in the future when we see the need to do so to support our customers and maintain our strong position in the region.”
Miami handles 85 percent of all perishables air imports into the U.S. and 80 percent of air exports. This adds up to over 720,000 tons of fresh fish, vegetables, fruits, and flowers a year for the U.S. consumer market as well as for customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
CAS’s perishables handling capability at the airport also includes its Cool Time Arrivals (CTA) service for the specialized handling of fresh fish and other commodities on their journey to markets or distributors in the U.S. It also provides dedicated perishable handling services for American Airlines and IAG Cargo.
The new cooler handles a wide variety of cargo, including fresh cut flowers from Colombia and Ecuador, fresh salmon and trout from Chile, asparagus from Peru, and other fruits and vegetables from various origin points in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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