Perishables Imports On the Rise at Bush Airport

Perishables are a rapidly growing area in air cargo volumes for the Houston market.

June 6, 2016

Ensuring the freshest of foods get to grocers — and onto tables in homes around the Houston region and beyond — takes a team effort, and AirLogistix USA and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) are working together to make sure families have those healthy, fresh options to choose from.

AirLogistix USA, a member of the Lynxs Group of companies, recently announced that the No. 1 import commodity through Houston’s Bush Intercontinental in 2015 was salmon fillets. With a growth rate nearing 600 percent year-over-year, AirLogistix USA handles millions of kilos of salmon ensuring the cold chain is not broken. Delivering fresh salmon fillets to local grocery stores through the Houston gateway using AirLogistix USA increases the shelf life and gets fresh salmon on the plates of consumers faster than previous import locations outside of Texas.

Already in the first quarter of 2016, salmon fillet imports in Houston have seen an increase of 27 percent over last year at this time. The choice of Houston as a gateway for this perishable commodity is benefiting the stores and the consumers, and AirLogistix USA’s handling makes this possible.

“Perishables are a rapidly growing area in air cargo volumes, driven by consumer demand for fresher choices,” said Mario Diaz, the Director of Aviation-Houston Airport System. “The Houston Airport System is pleased that Bush Intercontinental is becoming a significant gateway for these types of imports to the U.S., and AirLogistix USA has been a large part of this story with quality service and dedication to maintaining the cool chain at Bush Intercontinental.”

Grocery chains are beginning to see the benefit of using AirLogistix USA’s gateway at Bush Intercontinental for a greater variety of perishable commodities entering the country. The time from harvest to table is greatly reduced allowing grocery stores to offer fresher choices to consumers. The story can be extended to all types of seafood, produce and flowers. Additionally, AirLogistix USA continues to see a healthy volume of South American produce imports including blueberries and asparagus as well as an abundance of flowers from all over South America.

Airlogistix USA confirms a larger variety in the types of produce and seafood and the countries of origin passing through Bush Intercontinental and terminating in Houston. Some of these perishables are guavas and mangos with a growth of more than 400 percent from 2014 to 2015 and tilapia with a 95 percent increase in Q1 2015 versus Q1 2016.

It is clear that local grocers and consumers benefit from getting perishable products on the shelf faster than when compared to other import gateways on the east coast. The reduced transit times and faster time to market give grocers a longer shelf life and consumers a fresher product.

In addition to an increase in imports, there has also been growth in exports and transiting cargo through Houston from Latin America to Europe or Asia. More than 2.5 million kilos of asparagus transited from Latin American to Europe and Asia through Houston using the AirLogistix perishable facility to keep the cold chain intact between flights.

AirLogistix USA at Bush Intercontinental offers the best import and export handling capabilities and is the closest airport to some of their most important markets in central USA. Offering “white glove” service to our customers sets AirLogistix USA apart. This includes quality control checks on arrival and departure, repackaging, consolidations, 24/7 availability, and cool chain security between aircraft, customs and clearing, and onward transport.

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