Puerto Rico Life Sciences Air Cargo Logistics Community to launch

Manuel Cidre, Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce

Life sciences air cargo business in the Americas is set for a boost with a new Puerto Rico-based life sciences air cargo logistics community.

The new Puerto Rico Air Cargo Community, supported by the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DEDC), will include airlines, airports, forwarders, integrators, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, ground handlers, and hauliers.

The community will have three initial aims including; improving the overall quality of airfreight-related operations in Puerto Rico by adopting best practices and a standardised way of operating, representing the community and lobbying on its behalf with legislators and authorities, and raising awareness internationally about Puerto Rico’s airfreight capabilities and life sciences expertise.

A community board will drive the initiative and will include community members as well as the DEDC, Invest Puerto Rico, the Industry University Research Center (INDUNIV), Aerostar Airport Holdings, and the Port Authority of Puerto Rico.

A number of companies who will be joining the new community have already started the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification process as part of the initiative.

“We aim to put Puerto Rico firmly on the map as the best quality airfreight hub for life science in the Americas,” said Manuel Cidre, DEDC secretary.

“The new Community is open for everyone in the supply chain to join and our group will also act as the voice of the Industry with legislators and other stakeholders.”

Puerto Rico is the number one bioscience manufacturing hub in the US by export volume.

Twelve of the world’s 20 top-grossing pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Amgen, and AbbVie operate on the Caribbean island, with eight of the 15 globally top-selling biopharmaceutical products manufactured on Puerto Rico.

Twelve out of the top 20 medical device companies have manufacturing sites on the island, including Medtronic, CooperVision, and Boston Scientific, manufacturing products such as pacemakers and implantable defibrillators, surgical instruments, lab devices, dental equipment, and vision correction goods.

Puerto Rico has a US Department of Transportation designation as an international air transhipment hub, a waiver, which allows for unencumbered transhipment at the island’s three international airports.

“We have a well-trained, highly adaptable, bilingual workforce and decades of experience in manufacturing life sciences,” said Cidre.

“We have the full backing of Customs, and, through cooperation and a focus on sustainable, state-of-the-art, standardized air logistics, we will improve all parts of the shipment journey.”

The new Community and Board will meet for the first time later this month to plan next steps.


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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]