Fresh-cut Flowers from Colombia by Air are Big Business for U.S.

Fresh-cut Flowers from Colombia by Air are Big Business for U.S.

DATE: 06/20/19

Reliable, widebody freighter capacity is in demand for transporting fresh flowers from Colombia and other Latin countries.

From long-stemmed roses to orchids and carnations and everything in between, Miami could be renamed Flower City given the scope of south Florida’s floral trade. The vast majority of flowers enter the U.S. at Miami International Airport (MIA) where countless flower shipments arrive daily, and most arrive from Colombia.

Colombia alone exports more than 6 billion stems each year to 90 countries, and the U.S. is its biggest trading partner. Farms near Bogota, Colombia are a key growing region. The South American country is the world’s second largest exporter of cut flowers, sending over 4 billion flowers a year annually to the U.S., and is behind only the Netherlands, according to the Produce Marketing Association.

Colombia-U.S. flower connection at MIA

Each year, nearly $1 billion in fresh-cut flower imports enter the U.S. in Miami at MIA, accounting for about 80 percent of all U.S. imports. according to World City Inc., a Coral Gables, Fla.-based media and trade data research company. In 2019, that number is expected to top $1 billion in flower imports by air at MIA.

Fresh flowers are a top-ten import at Miami airport, and no surprise, Colombia is MIA’s biggest trading partner when it comes to fresh-cut flowers, comprising over 70 percent of the total trade between MIA and the rest of the world. Most flower imports into MIA arrive from Colombia but other leading countries include Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, and the Netherlands, according to World City.

Flowers by air

Air freight is a preferred mode of transportation for flower imports which have been on the rise in the last two decades as more flowers are grown outside of the U.S. instead of U.S. farms. Entire transits times from farm to retailer may take as few as four days. Reliable, widebody freighter capacity is in demand for transporting fresh flowers from Colombia and other Latin countries.

Amerijet International Airlines is uniquely positioned to serve the floral trade as a premier all-cargo airline, headquartered in Miami, which has served Latin America with scheduled maindeck freighter capacity for over 40 years. On its B767 widebody freighter aircraft, Amerijet now regularly transports fresh-cut flower shipments from Bogota (BOG), Colombia, and also Medellin (MDE), Colombia, into MIA.

In addition to five-times weekly service to BOG, and three-times weekly service to MDE, Amerijet serves 50 destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America with scheduled maindeck B767 freighter service.

Amerijet perishable solutions

With dedicated perishable experts on staff, Amerijet customers receive a reliable, dedicated temperature-controlled shipment solution from origin to destination. Amerijet’s global network of perishable handling stations include its new Miami 360,000 square-foot (33,500 sq. meter) import/export facility and 40,000 square-foot (3,700 sq. meter) perishable handling center, providing chilled storage to maintain the cold chain integrity of fresh-cut flowers.

Near MIA, two fumigation plants and many importers are located within several miles of the airport. Amerijet customers include flower importers which span a variety of shapes and sizes including wholesalers and distributors. Many of these importers pick up their shipments at the airport directly to process the flowers and assemble bouquets for their customers.

In turn, customers to flower importers include U.S. retailers such as online retailers and floral shops, while others such as large retailers or mega stores import directly. Many ground carriers in the south Florida region specialize in transporting live plants and flowers and transport across the U.S. All of these companies support thousands of jobs in south Florida.

For reservations and schedule information, shippers are encouraged to set up their free MyCargo account at the Amerijet website to book their freight and manage their shipments all in one place. Or, for reservations, please email or call 305-506-2969.

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