Exclusive - Hamburg Celebrates “Topping-Out” the New Cargo Complex

Upbeat music, short speeches and raising the topping-out garland highlighted the day which was followed by a nice after-show party. Hamburg Airport managers and employees, members of the local air freight industry plus the tradesmen and representatives of the construction companies were in an excellent mood last Friday while celebrating the topping-out ceremony for a state-of-the-art cargo building.

From l > r: Reinhard Stiftinger of Austrian construction firm Habau, Hamburg Senator Frank Horch and Airport Chief Michael Eggenschwiler pull up the garland   -  courtesy airport
From l > r: Reinhard Stiftinger of Austrian construction firm Habau, Hamburg Senator Frank Horch and Airport Chief Michael Eggenschwiler pull up the garland - courtesy airport

The warehouse named Hamburg Airport Cargo Center (HACC) comprises of 20,000 sqm. handling area and 6,000 sqm. of office space. It has 44 trucking docks and 36 parking positions for vehicles and semitrailers which enable an annual throughput of 150,000 tons of air freight. Built on a former passenger car park outside the airport, it is fenced in, thus located within the security zone of HAM  and within short distance to the aircraft. According to the airport’s Managing Director Michael Eggenschwiler the 50 million euro complex will go online in the spring of next year, most likely in May.

Building the future
It will catapult HAM into the major league of German cargo airports, offering new standards in quality and convenience for the members of the air freight community, emphasized by Frank Horch, the city’s senator of commerce and traffic, in his keynote address. Geographically, Hamburg is located right at the north-south and east-west crossroads in close proximity to Scandinavia, the Baltic region and East Europe. “This position makes our city an important location for trade and commerce, with particular emphasis on the fast processing of valuable and time critical goods,” Horch said. This requires a reliable and well-functioning infrastructure, be it by land, water or air. “With the Hamburg Airport Cargo Center we are building the future because air freight is a complimentary and indispensable element of our economy,” the politician professed. 

Michael Eggenschwiler (left) and Frank Horch, standing in front of the future HACC, see great opportunities for air freight in Hamburg  -  source hs
Michael Eggenschwiler (left) and Frank Horch, standing in front of the future HACC, see great opportunities for air freight in Hamburg - source hs

HAM announces multi-million investment program
In his speech HAM Chief Eggenschwiler referred to the original cargo area which was built 50 years ago as completely outdated meanwhile. That is why “we needed a new complex that meets present-day requirements.” This also takes environmental standards into account as shown by the new HACC which will be partially heated and cooled by a geothermal system and illuminated with energy-efficient lighting.
According to information obtained by CargoForwarder Global the building of a new cargo warehouse was demanded quite loudly by airlines, forwarders and handling agents for many years.
As Eggenschwiler said, in Hamburg and the surrounding area an estimated 270,000 tons of cargo are generated annually by local enterprises. However, most of the volume so far is trucked to major air freight hubs like Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Luxembourg, thus circumventing Hamburg Airport. The manager hopes this will change once the new cargo complex is operational next year.

In addition, the airport announced a major investment program of roughly 200 million euros for rebuilding and enhancing HAM. Part of the project is scrapping the old cargo buildings and using the space to enlarge HAM’s Pier South, where six additional aircraft gates will be built.  

Heiner Siegmund  /  Michael Taweel

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