Daily News: New Cooler at LAX Will Help Prospect of Storage Bloom

Daily News: New Cooler at LAX Will Help Prospect of Storage Bloom

By Gene Maddaus, Staff Writer, Daily News

Posted: 04/03/2009

If you bought a bouquet of roses recently, chances are it came from Colombia.

The flowers probably arrived at Miami International Airport, where they were loaded onto a refrigerated truck for a long cross-country drive.

That circuitous supply route will get a lot shorter with the opening Thursday of a 12,700-square-foot cold-storage facility at Los Angeles International Airport.

Built by Mercury Air group, the $1.1 million unit can accommodate 8,500 tons of perishable products arriving annually from South America.

"Mercury Air Group has made an important and smart investment that will open Los Angeles to new markets and new trade. It's good for business, it's good for the environment and it pushes Los Angeles closer toward a sustainable model of environmentally conscious growth," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.

With the new unit, officials hope to turn Los Angeles into a West Coast hub for the distribution of flowers, which could result in lower prices at local flower shops.

"Before we never had that kind of capacity," said David Herbst, of Mercury Air Group. "Los Angeles never had a large enough refrigeration unit to process that many flowers."

Mercury Air Cargo Cooler

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa shuns his overcoat upon entering the 35-degree cooler at Mercury Air Cargo at LAX on Thursday, April 2, 2009. Joseph Czyzyk, right, laughs at the mayor's bravado. The 12,700 sq-ft. cooler will house flowers and perishable products flown in each day from South America. (Brad Graverson/Staff Photographer)

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