Miami International Airport busy with cargo as pharmaceuticals arrive daily

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami International Airport feels like a ghost airport at the passenger terminals.

But it’s a different story on the cargo side of MIA, where they are as busy as ever.

Derry Huff of Amerijet International said, “We are incredibly busy. Actually, the last time we were this busy was after hurricanes Irma and Maria.”

An Amerijet cargo flight arrived into MIA Friday morning from Brussels.

Flights like this one carry 20 tons of pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies needed all over the U.S. and Central and South America during the pandemic.

Emir Pineda of MIA said, “It is critical, really. We are the number one international airport for cargo in the United States. We are the number one airport for the import of perishables into the United States, which obviously Pharma is one.”

Even though passenger traffic is down 95% at MIA, cargo is still very busy. There are about 150 cargo flights a day here, and many of those flights are carrying medical supplies and pharmaceuticals.

Much of the pharmaceutical and medical cargo has to be constantly refrigerated, so it’s quickly taken off the plane, into the refrigerated warehouse, and then onto a refrigerated truck, so it can go out for delivery.

The medical cargo flights are more important than ever because there are less passenger flights, and before the pandemic the Pharma cargo oftentimes went in the bellies of passenger jets.

Huff said, “Because of the situation with passenger carriage, there was a bit of a back log and a choke point here in Miami.”

Crews are working extra hours to keep the medical supplies moving.

Pineda said, “We are very grateful for everybody working at the airport who has been making sure that trade keeps flowing, that logistics keep flowing so we can have all the goods and medicines and masks and so forth that we need.”

Flights to and from Brussels and Puerto Rico are especially important because that’s where most pharmaceuticals are made.

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