A New Way to Reshape the Supply Chain for the Floriculture Industry - Are You In?

By Cindy Hanauer

Pssst!  Did you know?...... that on September 30th, 2019, the FAA issued the Record of Decision granting approval to proceed with the Airglades International Airport and Perishable Cargo Center located five miles west of the central business district in Clewiston, Florida?  To many, Clewiston, Florida is an unknown dot on the map, but it’s an undiscovered logistical treasure with a sweet story to tell. 

Clewiston is the home of the U.S. Sugar Corp located on the southwest shore of Lake Okeechobee.  For more than 85 years, U.S. Sugar has been planting, growing and harvesting nature’s sweetest gifts: sugarcane, citrus, and sweet corn for families across America.  But the extra dose of sweetness comes from the area’s intermodal capabilities, it’s modern technology and its strategic location 80 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale and 85 miles north of the city of Miami. 

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At the epicenter of the area are an airport (Airglades International Airport) and a planned multi-purpose hub for intermodal cargo handling via international air, ground, and railway. 

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Flight and taxi time from the flower source to the Airglades International Airport is less than or equal to Miami, with the planned hub to include:

  • Access to cargo within 4 hours (USDA/AFIS and CBP are on premise)
  • Ample cold chain storage to support holiday peaks
  • New perishables handling facility – all under one roof- that can generate significant cost savings, greater labor efficiencies and cold chain management
  • Congestion-free air and ground traffic with affordable labor, utility costs, and surrounding land to support a vast footprint of perishable importers, logistics providers, and auxiliary service organizations.
  • Ability to provide air and ground relief to the overloaded South Florida area
  • A full range of cargo processing and aircraft maintenance, repair, overhaul, parking, and bonded fuel services.


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The project is fully funded including the commitments of major perishable importers and logistics providers, supporting airfield operations and fuel providers.  Airglades is in the process of finalizing the design and customer allocations within the Perishable Cargo Center.  The complete project is scheduled for completion by 2023 and presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for stakeholders in the floriculture industry to reshape the current supply chain into a next-generation solution for florists, mass markets, e-commerce retailers and fulfillment centers. 

“The ideas that win are the ones that bridge the customer to the future.”

Excited to learn more?  Want to be part of the plan?  Please contact Hernan Galindo; VP Business Development; Galindo@airgladesairport.com; +1 (305) 903-8900 

Follow-up Questions

  1. What are some of the improvements you’d like to see in the supply chain?
  2. How can we build a better infrastructure to support the growth of new technologies,e-commerce and omni-channel retail?
  3. If you could have anything you want in an intermodal modal perishable cargo center, what would it be?

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