Hamburg Airport Cargo Center is the official name given to an upcoming state-of-the-art cargo facility. The €45m building will open its gates in summer next year.
“Without air freight there won’t be any intercontinental flights. Without intercontinental flights air freight will be seeking new paths.” A thought-provoking statement delivered by Will van der
Schalk of Hamburg’s Freight Forwarders Association during the groundbreaking ceremony for the projected HACC. With his statement he hit the nail right on the dead since HAM offers passengers and
cargo clients a wide-span intra-European network but lacks main intercontinental routes. That’s why most of the locally generated shipments are constantly being trucked to Frankfurt, Amsterdam or
Luxemburg to be loaded on board an aircraft – an untenable situation particularly for the aviation and maritime industry. Be it Lufthansa Technik, Airbus, the many suppliers of the aviation
industry or big shipping lines like Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Sued – they all need fast and reliable air lifts to get their components and spare parts to their many international customers in the
fastest possible way. But since HAMN Airport offers only a limited number of intercontinental flights Airbus or Hapag are forced have little choice to having their items being trucked to major
gateways that enable fast uplifts to a broad variety of destinations all around the globe.
Killing two birds with one stone
So the building of the HACC is to a certain extend supposed to kill two birds with one stone – the fast throughput and dispatch of shipments, and the vague hope for attracting more carriers from other continents to opt for Hamburg as destination of choice.
This reasoning is additionally substantiated by the fact that the generation of new long-haul aircraft such as Boeing’s Dreamliner or the upcoming A350 from Airbus is predestined to server thinner routes, leaving the principle routes to larger aircraft.
Filling a gap
The projected cargo center will offer 20,000 square meters for the ground handling of air freight and additional 6,000 m² office space. Customs and vets will be integrated for securing fast throughputs of goods. Adjacent to the future building are additional 10,000 sqm back-up areas for enlarging the center when needed, depending on future market trends. “The facility will fill an existing gap and consequently enhance the services offered by the local logistics, aviation and maritime industry,” emphasized Hamburg’s Senator for Economics Frank Horch in his welcome address.
Once completed, up to 150,000 tons of air freight can be processed there annually. Interestingly enough, already 85 percent of the floor and office space have already been rented by ground handling firms, forwarders or airlines.
Michael Eggenschwiler, the airport’s Chairman of the Managing Board pointed out the terminal building, which is 256 meters long and 76 meters wide, will be equipped with 40 truck docks. A tunnel undercrossing a bypass road will link the future facility directly with the apron of HAM Airport.
According to Eggenschwiler, the HACC will be fully financed by his enterprise and is slated to become operational in mid-2015. The name of any new intercontinental airline client landing in Hamburg he did not announce while turning the sod.