Swissport and Cathay Pacific Cargo have signed a 5-year contract at Frankfurt airport, with the first shipment arriving at the ground handler’s recently opened air cargo hub.
The 17,000-square-metre warehouse, built in less than a year, has direct tarmac access and has 50 percent more capacity compared to the former hub at the Cargo City South logistics district.
It has an integrated pharma hub occupying 1,560 square metres, with temperature-controlled zones for handling sensitive pharmaceutical products. There’s 1,300 square metres of space for shipments requiring 15°C to 25°C storage temperature and 260 square metres for pharmaceuticals in the 2° to 8°C range.
Swissport said it has invested heavily in digitalisation and equipment, including electric–powered ground service vehicles for handling shipments inside the warehouse, as well as a slot-booking app to show information about trucking capacity and schedule.
Unit load devices (ULDs) are stored and retrieved by an automated material handling system (MHS) with a storage capacity of 115 main deck ULDs, whilst the photovoltaic system on the building’s roof is expected to feed more than 1.5 million kWh of solar energy per year.
“The combination of sustainable infrastructure, innovative technologies and digitalized processes ensures we are optimally positioned for the future,” says Henning Dieter, Head of Swissport Cargo Services Germany.”
With 115 warehouses and 14 Swissport Pharma Centers, Swissport anticipates a spike in freight volumes for general cargo and pharmaceuticals, and the new facility is expected to process around 200,000 tonners annually.
According to the ground handler, the deal with Cathay Pacific Cargo equates to 26,000 tonnes of cargo per year. The carrier flies four weekly cargo flights with its B747-400 or 747-8 and four weekly passenger flights with belly space using its B777 or Airbus 350 between Frankfurt, the US and Hong Kong.