News & Updates

American Airlines Cargo expands its temperature-controlled network in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Dallas/Fort Worth

March 11, 2016

American Airlines Cargo continues to invest in its global network in support of the increasing demand for both pharmaceutical and perishable goods across the world. Most recent facility improvements include those in both San Juan (SJU) and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), which see some of the highest demand for time- and temperature-sensitive goods.

From fresh fruit and meat to potentially life-saving medications, the safe and timely transport of pharmaceutical and perishable cargo remains a top priority for American’s Cargo operation. As demand for these goods continues to grow worldwide, investing in and improving on current infrastructures will also continue.

This year, American’s DFW operation will focus on increasing the amount of perishables transiting into and through the hub. An important gateway for cargo transiting from Latin America to European and Asian destinations, DFW moves a variety of perishable commodities, including produce—most frequently, asparagus and berries—Chilean salmon and fresh cut flowers.

“Investing in refrigeration targeted to perishable foodstuffs that transit through DFW is great to see. It’s a major step in the right direction for American Airlines Cargo,” said customer Chris Connell, president of Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI). “Being able to provide an expanded cooler network during those warm Texas months gives us peace of mind when we route via their Dallas hub.”

This new drive-through perishable facility is almost 4,000 square feet, which is an addition to the current 1,800 square-foot perishable and 800 square-foot pharmaceutical coolers at the DFW hub.

In response to the increasing demand for pharmaceutical goods in the Latin America region, American has also invested in the expansion of its cold-chain network with a new 600-square-foot space in SJU—bringing total cooler space to 1,000 square feet at this location. This facility will now operate two separate, interchangeable units capable of housing temperature-sensitive products from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius or 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. American Airlines is the only carrier at SJU with both refrigerated storage and Controlled Room Temperature (CRT) spaces dedicated to pharmaceutical goods.

Additional benefits of the new SJU facility include:

  • 12 plug-in receptacles
  • Advanced, 24/7 monitoring technology  
  • Increased capacity for each temperature range

On average, the pharmaceutical market is growing at a rate of 6.5 percent annually, leading to the corresponding need for pharmaceutical logistics and regulations. The most common commodities that move into and out of San Juan include over-the-counter and prescription medicines, as well as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), used for the manufacturing of medications.

“Having the ability to temporarily store pharmaceuticals in a dedicated location will allow us to offer customers increased opportunities into and through San Juan,” said Russell Santiago, senior account manager, Cargo Sales – Caribbean, Mexico & Latin America. “Over the last couple years, we’ve seen an increase in cold-chain traffic into our station, which is consistent with growing market trends and an important sector in the air freight industry.”

In celebration of the cooler and cold-chain facility openings in San Juan (March 10) and Dallas (March 15), American’s Cargo team will host separate events, including respective ribbon cutting ceremonies and guided facility tours.

About American Airlines Cargo

American Airlines Group is the holding company for American Airlines. American provides one of the largest cargo networks in the world with cargo terminals and interline connections across the globe.

Every day, American transports cargo between major cities in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. Together with wholly owned and third-party regional carriers operating as American Eagle, the airlines operate an average of approximately 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in over 50 countries from its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington DC.

This year, American Airlines Group Inc. topped Fortune Magazine's list of best business turnarounds and its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at


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