Perishable Cargo

Keep it fresh no matter where it's going.

Sending a shipment that needs to arrive fresh?

You've come to the right place. We employ state-of-the-art equipment to transport such perishable cargo such as produce, seafood, floral products, fruits, berries and live tropical fish. However, since these items are typically sensitive to temperature extremes, there may be occasions where the transit times you are trying to meet may prevent your shipment from being accepted. For your package's safety, we have certain requirements in place to help ensure the freshness of your shipment, not to mention protect aircraft from damage caused by leaking boxes or shipping containers.

To comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), please register all foreign and domestic food facilities and provide prior notice of "shipments of human and animal food being imported or offered for import into the U.S."

We encourage you to comply with all governmental regulations. It may minimize delays in clearing your shipment for travel.

Register and find more information on the FDA's website.

Shipping Methods
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All of our products are capable of shipping perishable cargo. See Cargo Products to find out more.

Contact one of our Sales Representatives or Customer Service Agents for more details.

American Airlines Cool Perishables
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Exclusive to our Miami Hub, American Airlines Cool Perishables provides pre-cooling, confirmed cooler space and expedited USDA and U.S. Customs clearances for fresh shipments on-site. The program provides:

  • Two pre-coolers
  • Container handling systems
  • Integration of pre-cooling, USDA and U.S. Customs clearance for quick dispatch on connecting flights
  • Simplified schedule of charges

For more information, please contact your local American Airlines Cargo Sales Manager or the American Airlines Customer Service Center in MIA at (305) 870-4848.

Packaging Requirements
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General Perishable Items

Preparation is key. Please pack your perishable cargo to withstand:

  • 48 hours of transit time domestically (within the 50 United States, San Juan and the U.S. Virgin Islands)
  • 72 hours of transit time internationally (to or from destinations outside the 50 United States)
  • 8 to 12 physical handlings
  • Pressure of up to 60 lbs./27 kgs. per square foot
  • Sliding on any surface
  • A 12-inch drop to any surface
  • 30 seconds in the rain

Please do not use Styrofoam outer packaging - in most cases, it is not allowed. See Packaging Requirements for more details.

Fresh Seafood

When shipping fresh seafood, please follow general packaging guidelines for perishables, as well as these:

  • Make sure they are placed inside a polyethylene bag at least 4 mil. thick (or two 2-mil. bags) and pressure sealed, knotted or professionally folded to prevent leakage.
  • Pack them in a multi-walled, wax impregnated fiberboard outer container or box with leak-proof corners or leak-proof plastic or fiberglass containers. These must not exceed the manufacturer's maximum capacity.
  • Put absorbent materials between the polyethylene bag and the outer or inner container.
  • Band or tape the outer container or box with a minimum of two bands around the width of the box.
  • The maximum gross weight per container or box for most fresh seafood, including packaging and refrigerant, may not exceed 150 lbs./68 kgs.
  • The maximum gross weight for whole tuna or whole swordfish shipments may not exceed 300 lbs./136 kgs.
  • When shipping with a carrier-owned, shipper-loaded container, seafood should be packaged utilizing the requirements listed above.
Live Seafood

When shipping live seafood, please follow general and fresh seafood packaging guidelines for perishables, as well as these:

  • When using self-oxygenating containers, the shipper should provide, on company letterhead, a statement that leakage will not occur.
  • Mark your shipping containers with "LIVE ANIMALS" or "LIVE SEAFOOD" and "DO NOT TIP, DO NOT TURN OVER."
  • For international live seafood transportation requirements, please refer to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animal Regulations.
Chill at the cargo terminal.
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Some of our major cargo terminals have refrigeration available to store perishables during the shipping process. This feature is offered on a "first come, first served" basis, and may not always be available. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee refrigeration. We highly recommend planning for your perishable shipment to arrive at its final destination while the terminal is open. See Facility Information for more details.

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