- The Miami International Airport has been granted Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) status as a magnet site, Air Cargo News reported. FTZ status lets existing or potential airport tenants operate manufacturing, warehousing and/or distribution centers on airport property, allowing for federal tariffs to be deferred, reduced or eliminated – gaining time and cost savings for approved importers and exporters.
- Along with the Port of Miami, the airport magnet site permits companies to receive and process materials and merchandise with reduced or eliminated customs duties upon entry into the country.
- Companies handling high-traffic commodities at MIA — pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, footwear, auto parts, aircraft parts, avionics, machinery equipment, consumer goods and perishables — are likely to be the first to apply for FTZ permits.
FTZs improve a region's attractiveness to foreign trade, and Miami International Airport is ideally placed to take advantage of that opportunity.
At present there are over 230 FTZs in the United States, with an additional 400 subzones. With a focus on drawing foreign investment, those located near coasts or at terminals already known for enabling ease of imports are likely to see the most benefit.
At the new Miami Airport FTZ, change is just beginning.
"We don’t yet know the extent of the magnet site’s impact on our operations because our first operator has not yet been determined," Greg Chin, communications director at the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, told Supply Chain Dive.
Significant improvements as a result of reduced customs requirements are expected to benefit supply chain operations.
"The magnet site is designed to streamline operations by allowing existing or prospective airport tenants to receive, process and distribute merchandise immediately upon entry into the U.S. on MIA property, which reduces the need to transport materials off-site," Chin said. "Magnet site operators also have the benefit of deferred, reduced or eliminated federal tariffs, which provides additional expediency to the supply chain process."
The ultimate benefit for cargo handlers is expected to result in faster turnarounds, improved efficiency and room to grow their operations.
"The magnet site reduces some cost and logistical challenges for existing or prospective cargo handlers who want to expand their operations at MIA," Chin concluded.