Cargo Keeps on Climbing at BRU

Brussels Airport reports a robust 9.6% increase of air freight throughput during Q1. Additional customers were acquired and the airport’s role as leading pharma gateway was further strengthened.

Steven Polmans
Steven Polmans

Can BRU Cargo set a new record in cargo turnover this year? Measured against 2014 figures the outlook is promising. The results achieved in Q1 provide a realistic ray of hope to achieve this aim, states head of BRU Cargo Steven Polmans. “Last year’s 8%-plus tonnage was already very satisfactory. But we are pleased to see that the start of 2015 brings even stronger growth in volumes handled here, with all segments contributing to this encouraging development.” According to him, cargo volumes are up on full freighter and integrator traffic as well as on the lower decks y offered by passenger aircraft for the carriage of shipments.

Capacity increase continues
As additional growth drivers he mentions Qatar Cargo, offering 8 weekly flights to and from BRU and Ethiopian Cargo which just increased its weekly frequencies from 4 to 6 services. However, it’s not just the traffic growth that makes the manager and his team at BRU Cargo content but also the progress “in strengthening our cargo community management through working on a variety of different projects closely together in a constructive and productive atmosphere,” Steven states. As a further example he mentions the cargo community system in the cloud that’s currently going life, “which is a challenging but promising adventure,” he says.

Concentrating on pharma
Last month Brussels Airport took a further step ahead in becoming a prime gateway for the pharma industry by initiating a second wave of IATA CEIV pharma certification. On the occasion, additional 8 enterprises jumped on the bandwagon, amongst them some renowned companies such as DHL Global Forwarding, Kuehne + Nagel, Panalpina or Geodis.
Nathan De Valck, Key Account Manager at Brussels Airport, adds to this: “the fact that the demand came from the market to organise this second wave is very encouraging and motivating. It shows the strength and benefits of the program. From our side we will continue to work closely with the shippers and identify next steps where we as an airport can make the difference for them in further improving our position as pharma gateway in Europe.”

Expecting further growth
Asked for delivering a 2015 forecast on behalf of BRU Cargo, Steven reacted very optimistic: “the different projects we are working on will keep us busy for the moment but will also contribute in realising our targets and goals.” He went on to say: “furthermore, in the next months, we will also see the start of some new real estate projects, both ramp side as well as second line. Add to that the new flights of Ethiopian as of mid-April, the start of Yangtze River Express in April and the services commencing in May announced by the Canadian carrier Kelowna Cargo, it doesn’t need much fantasy to predict further growth in the months ahead.”

Heiner Siegmund

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Coulee (Tuesday, 07 April 2015 21:51)

    Nice all this wave of positive communications but BRU is still lagging well behind LGG in terms of Air cargo. Since several years LGG is N° one cargo airport in Belgium an N° 8 in Europe.
    Canadian Kelona are only operating very old DC10 not allowed during night at Brussels.
    The should also mention that is new freighters companies are coming (lured from Lgg) other are regularly cancelling up to 80% of their calls to BRU.
    And lastly BRU have an unsolvable noise problem the town and departing routes. minimal solution will be to close the shop during the night, as done in FRA and ZUR. Up to now several companies have received huge fines for having surpassing noise limits. But of course Polmans & Co keep tight lipps about all negative aspects. All is bright, that's the name of the game.

  • #2

    Steven Polmans (Wednesday, 08 April 2015 15:47)

    Dear David (i presume this is your name by clicking the link of your userid),

    Not sure if I should thank you for your comments after reading the article or to apologise for the good things happening at BRU for the moment… Do allow me some feedback on your comments:

    1) The article nor my statements are making any reference to any specific airports other than BRU. So allow me not to do so as this is not my intention. If so, the comparison would not just be between BRU and LGG, but with AMS, CDG, LUX, CGN, DUS, FRA, … Think it is very wrong to see this as a Belgian story and competition between 2 Belgian airports in an area where we are both surrounded by competitors.
    2) We have growing volumes thanks to new routes and flights and new customers. Some are completely new, others are coming from other airports in our catchment area. Think this is the case for many airports at the moment since natural growth of air cargo volumes in Europe is rather limited. Whatever the reason, there must be something we can offer them to attract them to our airport. And to make it clear: it is not just airlines, but also other companies in the logistical chain that are investing in our airport.
    3) 80% cancellations? Sorry, checked the flight schedule but no idea to whom you are referring. Anyway, even if so, volumes are growing so the cancellations are more than compensated by additional flights.
    4) It is indeed no secret we have a stricter night regime than some other airports in Europe. But clearly this is by far compensated by our strengths as business (flights, customers, forwarders) is growing.

    Sorry the response is longer than I intended for, but wanted to give reply to all comments as detailed as possible to avoid a lengthy online discussion.

    Brgds, Steven (en Co)