Dnata’s newly-opened hub at Brussels Airport has started its operation on 1 April. The premises offer sufficient space to accommodate growth.
In BRU, Dnata has thoroughly refurbished part of the 703 facility, which it shares with Aviapartner and the Pharma hub, as well as with Kuehne+Nagel. The latter plans to relocate to the new
Brucargo West zone early next year, offering Dnata opportunities to expand their reach at building 703.
This option is in line with Dnata’s strategy, as confirmed by CEO Erik de Goeij, who is responsible for the Netherlands and Belgium: “Today we have a 4,500 sqm warehouse with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes. Should K+N pull out, Dnata will be able to get another 4,500 sqm doubling its capacity to 240,000 tonnes of yearly throughput. This is a fast way to grow along with the airport.”
Certification all over
In the months to come, Dnata wants to obtain a TAPA A-certification for its BRU hub. TAPA stands for Transported Asset Protection Association, a collaborative initiative setup to fight against cargo crime, thus protecting the integrity of valuable air freight consignments. Dnata’s certification at BRU is seen as an imperative for companies aiming at the storage and handling of these types of cargo.
“You have to be up and running the warehouse for at least three consecutive months before you can launch the audit process,” explains Mr de Goeij: “In Amsterdam we are already TAPA A-certified, so we have the entire process in place.”
Pharma as well
Dnata also wants to certify for ISO14000, the EU-driven General Distribution Practices (GDP) and eventually join IATA Pharma CEIV, he adds. In its hub, the company has included a small storage room for pharma consignments with cooling facilities between +2C° and +8 C° as well as +15C° and +25C°.
On the airside zone there are 2 similar cells for built-up pharma units, guaranteeing the temperature integrity of these consignments before transport and loading. For tarmac transport Dnata will use the airport’s special pharma dollies “as we do at AMS,” Mr de Goeij says.
CFG: With Dnata being part of Emirates, one would have expected that EK Sky Cargo would become the launch customer. Now it’s Singapore Airlines Cargo. Why?
EdG: “Emirates and Dnata are like brother and sister, but we each have our own business to pursue. We’ll wait and see. We are very happy that SIA Cargo has granted us the honour of becoming our launch customer and, besides, you cannot start with two customers for the launch of a new operation. Our space is limited.”
CFG: Are you in touch with other potential customers?
EdG: “We are intensely solicited by other airlines as well, but we have opted for a ‘first come, first serve’ approach.”
New premises in AMS by 2023
Dnata’s turnaround of the old premises at BRU took exactly 10 weeks, including the installation of 60 CCTV’s covering every m² of the building. The operation has started with a staff of 50, some of which were temporarily brought in from AMS, to guarantee expertise. “We have been approached by a lot of applicants, both from within and outside the airport. With full use of the warehouse we will employ some 100 people,” Mr de Goeij says.
In AMS the 52,000 sqm Dnata facility is part of some 110,000 sqm of cargo handling space that will have to make way for the construction of a flyover - bridging the A4 motorway - that will accommodate a new taxiway. The move, which also affects KLM Cargo’s warehouse, is planned between 2021 and 2023.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels