Big airports like Miami International are bracing for possible delays in the wake of an Aug. 1 deadline for screening 100% of cargo on passenger flights. As the No. 1 U.S. airport for international freight, MIA handles at least 80% of air freight to or from Latin America and the Caribbean. American Airlines, the dominant carrier at MIA, has spent "well over $10 million on a variety of technological applications" to comply with the deadline, according to a company official, who acknowledges that consumers eventually will foot the bill for the "very expensive and time-consuming process" of screening cargo at the airline dock. One outside expert predicts a "nightmare" of backups at the airport. "A lot of freight forwarders haven't paid attention to the August 1 deadline yet. They expect the TSA regulation will be delayed or postponed," he says.

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