Mercury Air Cargo At LAX


Mercury Air Cargo, Inc., a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based Mercury Air Group, Inc., initiated cargo operations at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 1979. Today, Mercury Air Cargo plays an important role as the largest third-party cargo handler at LAX and the second-largest air cargo handler overall, based on 2007 tonnage, only surpassed by Federal Express. Mercury operates out of three leaseholds at LAX, the largest being a 200,000-square-foot facility on Avion Boulevard in which Mercury Air Cargo invested in the building build of a refrigeration unit that is considered the largest refrigeration unit among all airports on the U.S. West Coast.

  • The 12,700-square-foot refrigeration unit represents a $1.1 million investment by Mercury.

  • The facility is the largest refrigeration unit among all airports on the U.S. West Coast.

  • Currently, the largest refrigeration units at LAX are approximately 4,000 square feet.

  • The new refrigeration unit was built to accommodate a projected 8,500 tons of new perishable product annually arriving on LAN Cargo air freighters from South America

  • Currently, LAN Cargo reportedly flies to LAX only 50% of the perishable traffic it could because there is insufficient refrigeration at LAX to accommodate the flowers and provide a continuing “cold chain” to ensure their freshness.

  • The new flower volumes will come from Bogotá, Colombia; and Quito, Ecuador; and will now be coming to LAX instead of entering the U.S. at Miami International Airport. This new shift in the flower supply chain will save considerable time, making flowers available to consumers on a faster, fresher and less-expensive basis.

  • To move 8,500 tons of flowers from Miami to the West Coast takes approximately 423 53-foot-long refrigerated trailer trucks. To move the same amount of flowers to Los Angeles via air takes approximately 141 freighter flights.

  • Flowers traveling from Bogota arrive in Portland, OR, in about one-third the time, when shipped via LAX (28 hours total travel time from field to florist) instead of via Miami (71 hours). This time savings is critical, not only to shippers, but to customers seeking the freshest flowers possible.

  • The time savings is equally impressive when shipping flowers from Bogota to Carlsbad, CA, a major floral distribution point for the West Coast. The trip takes 15 hours of total travel time via LAX compared with 59.5 hours via Miami – a time savings of 75 percent.

  • In the future, the large refrigeration unit will not only accommodate the storage of large amounts of flowers, but workers also will be able to separate the flower shipments within the 35-degree-Fahrenheit storage environment and prepare them for direct distribution to flower shops and supermarkets throughout California and the Western United States.

  • According to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), Mercury’s new warehouse operations at LAX will have a net positive economic impact on California’s economy, generating approximately $3.33 million in new direct and indirect business revenues statewide. LAEDC is Southern California’s premier business leadership organization whose mission is to attract, retain and grow businesses and jobs in the regions of Los Angeles County.