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MIAMI: April 11, 2017. The U.S. Department of Commerce says air cargo traffic through Miami International Airport (MIA) rose eight percent by value last year to reach US$57.3 billion.

MIA says the increase is largely due pharma shipments that have risen 140 percent since 2011 to reach US$4.4 billion in 2016 – a 48 percent jump over the previous 12 months.

LAN Pharma MIA"Our efforts to maximize pharma freight traffic at MIA continue to pay dividends for Miami-Dade County, the state and the nation," said Miami-Dade Aviation director Emilio González. "The World Health Organization projects that the global pharma industry will rise in value from US$300 billion to US$400 billion within the next three years, and we want to position MIA at the center of that growth trend."

In 2015 Florida had the fourth largest GDP in America at US$888.1 billion – a position unchanged since 2005 when the figure was US$700.3 billion. Last year MIA's airtrade amounted to 92 percent of the state's total airtrade value and 40 percent of its combined (air & sea) trade value.

"MIA's continued growth means a stronger economy and more job creation for our community," said Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez. "That's something each of our 2.7 million residents can be proud of."

Following an IATA designation in 2015 as the first pharma freight hub in the U.S. and the second in the world, last year MIA partnered with Brussels Airport to create 'Pharma Aero' - a group of airport operators, pharma shippers, CEIV-certified cargo communities and other air pharma stakeholders with the aim to improve quality and pharma handling in the air cargo industry.

Since then the organization has added the airports of Singapore, Sharjah and Chhatrapati Shivaji (Mumbai), plus Brussels Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Brinks Life Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Merck Sharp & Dohme as strategic members.

In addition to boosting pharma traffic, last year MIA handled 83 percent of all imports and 79 percent of all exports between the U.S. and the Latin American/Caribbean region; plus 89.2 percent of all U.S. air imports of flowers; 66.7 percent of all fruit and vegetables; and 49.8 percent of all fish imports by air.

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