DHL Express Opens Miami-to-Argentina Cargo Shipping Route

Freight Giant Plans Further Expansion of Latin American Service
DHL trucks at a warehouse
DHL Group delivery trucks at a parcel distribution warehouse in Munich. (Michaela Rehle/Bloomberg News)

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DHL Express started shipping this week from Miami to Argentina, as part of its cargo hauling expansion from South Florida to Latin America.

DHL plans to fly cargo six days a week between Miami International Airport and Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, the global shipping firm said. This comes after the company launched direct service from Miami to Brazil last year, tapping into growing business and commerce between the United States and Latin America.

Each DHL flight between Miami and Buenos Aires can carry 52 tons of cargo, the company said this week. After landing in Buenos Aires, the planes will go to Santiago, Chile before returning to Miami airport.

The new flights to Argentina are example of another company expanding its cargo operation in Miami, as the airport becomes a wider gateway to Latin America.

Chilean airline LATAM Airlines Group is also betting big on its shipping prospects from South Florida.

“Our biggest cargo market is Miami,” Martin St. George, chief commercial officer for LATAM, told the Miami Herald in July. He said by the end of 2023, the airline expects to have a fleet of 20 planes that regularly fly cargo between Miami and Latin America.

Already, LATAM was the fourth-largest of 80-plus cargo transporters at Miami airport, during the 12-month period through July, according to data provided by airport officials. The airline hauled 257,563 tons of cargo in that stretch, a 12% increase over the same period the prior year.

A DHL Group cargo plane

A Boeing Co. 757-223 cargo aircraft operated by DHL Group prepares to land in Schkeuditz, Germany. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg News)

Meanwhile, American Airlines, the biggest and expanding passenger airline at Miami airport, ranked eighth there over the past year, hauling 107,468 tons of cargo. Miami is American’s second-largest cargo hub after Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Juan Carlos Liscano, American’s vice president of Miami hub operations told the Herald in July. “It’s really important.”

As of August, the number of airlines transporting cargo through Miami increased to 96 carriers, including airlines that carry cargo only and those hauling passengers with belly cargo. Foreign airlines that have cargo-only flights include Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways and KLM/MartinAir from the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, DHL said this week its new flight service from Miami to Buenos Aires should increase by 50% the likelihood of same-day U.S. Customs clearance and delivery. The firm also said its delivery times for U.S. shipments will improve as a result of the expanded shipping service.

“The introduction of this new flight to Argentina reinforces our unwavering commitment to global trade by delivering faster and more efficient shipping and logistics solutions, and addressing the growing demand in the region,” Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express Americas, said earlier this week in a prepared statement.

DHL Aero Expreso, a Panama-based airline that operates cargo services in Latin America and the Caribbean, added direct flights from Miami to Brazil last year. While it had served Brazil prior to that, the first dedicated flight was a response to “increasing international shipping needs between Brazil and the U.S.,” it said at the time.

A Boeing 767-300F aircraft flies six times a week from Miami to Brazil’s Viracopos Airport, in Campinas, a city about 70 miles north of São Paulo, hauling about 620 tons of cargo weekly.

DHL’s new Argentina cargo flights from Miami are part of the company’s overall shipping expansion in the Americas and more than $360 million in investments between 2020 and 2022. DHL cited a boom in shipping demand resulting from the growing e-commerce sector. In 2021, the company had added direct cargo flights from Miami to Chile.

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Miami is expected to continue playing a central role in growing cargo transport by DHL Express and numerous other carriers.

LATAM’s inbound cargo consists largely of perishables like flowers from Colombia and Ecuador and salmon, asparagus, berries and other seafood from the rest of South America.

St. George, the LATAM executive, said in July that, “the beauty of Miami is from a road access perspective, it’s one-day access to a big chunk of the key markets in the U.S.”

And so, “it really has become a market that’s seen as a focal point for shipping perishables into the U.S,,” he said.

DHL Group ranks No. 3 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest global freight companies.

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