Ground handler Swissport’s brick and mortar strategy continues unabated. After inaugurating a state-of-the-art Pharma Center at Brussels Airport (CFG, 29th Oct), the Zurich-based handling heavyweight, together with investor Fraport AG and the Goldbeck construction company, laid the foundation stone for a 17,000m² cargo facility at Frankfurt’s CargoCity South. Once operational, it will increase Swissport’s handling capacity by almost 50 percent.
Time capsule containing last Thursday’s issue of newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung held by Felix Kreutel, SVP Real Estate + Properties at Fraport (center) and Willy Ruf, SVP Central & Eastern Europe, Swissport. Standing left, for bricking the capsule up, is Goldbeck’s Division Manager Mike Floerke – photo: CFG / hs
Laying the foundation stone generally means that the first brick is laid on an empty property by the builder, symbolizing the start of construction work on a new facility. However, in the case of
Swissport’s future Frankfurt warehouse, building work was already well underway, judging by the many pillars erected there (seen in the background) during the last couple of weeks in the run up
to the laying of the foundation stone.
Swissport goes green – in Frankfurt
Be that as it may, once completed next summer, the facility will be Swissport’s fourth largest warehouse worldwide, as well as its most modern, and a self-sustaining building when it comes to energy supply. The green approach is guaranteed by a roof-mounted photovoltaic system, generating 1.5 million KWh of electricity per year. This is the equivalent of providing over 450 four-person households with electricity for an entire year. With this move, Fraport is increasing its focus on the use of independently generated renewable energy to cover FRA’s electricity requirements, Felix Kreutel, Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Properties at Fraport AG, emphasized.
High degree of automation
The new building at CargoCity South will expand Swissport’s handling capacity by almost 50% and will employ a warehouse-concept material handling system enabling automatic storage of containers and pallets, according to a joint Fraport/Swissport press release. The system provider is world market leader Loedige Industries, which has also equipped Finnair’s Cool Nordic Cargo Hub, Sheremetyevo’s Moscow Cargo complex, and Swissport’s cargo facility and Pharma Center at Brussels Zaventem Airport, to name but a few, with its state-of-the-art mechanical storing technology. Technology that includes Elevating Transfer Vehicles, whose movements and processes as well as all operational activities within the warehouse are monitored 24/7 by experts based at the company’s remote control-center.
The worst seems to be over
“The facility supports our mid- and long-term growth at Frankfurt Airport, despite the current market contraction,” Willy Ruf, Senior Vice President Central & Eastern Europe of Swissport, stated. In 2019, the agent expects to have handled 140,000 tons, a sharp drop compared to the 180,000 tons processed the year before. “We feel that the bottom has been reached,” said the manager who assumes a moderate upswing of volumes in the months ahead.
Currently, Swissport handles all AF-KL-MP shipments at Frankfurt, with most of the volumes being trucked as BUPs from there to AMS or CDG, to be loaded directly on to the aircraft.
More customers expected
A second customer is Swiss WorldCargo that flies goods to and from Frankfurt in the holds of its passenger aircraft. “We are in talks with other airlines whose names I cannot reveal due to ongoing discussions,” Mr Ruf commented.
Division manager, Mike Floerke, from the Goldbeck construction company, assured that the facility costing € 20 million and comprising 1,580m² of cool rooms, will be completed next summer and ready, then, to welcome the first shipment.
Fraport AG is the owner and has agreed a leasing contract with Swissport for ten years.
Footnote: We always welcome your comments to our articles. However, we can only publish them when the sender name is authentic.