Swissport opens new pharma facility at Frankfurt airport

by Inside Logistics Online Staff
The new building has automated handling and a slot booking app for inbound trucks.

FRANKFURT, Germany – Swissport has opened a new air cargo facility at Frankfurt Airport.

The 17,000 sqm warehouse with an integrated Swissport Pharma Center is equipped with automated handling technology and has direct tarmac access. A slot booking app controls access for trucks.

With the new building, Swissport increases its handling capacity by about 50 percent over its former facility at Frankfurt’s Cargo City South logistics district.

The integrated Swissport Pharma Center covers 1,560 sqm, expanding the space reserved for temperature-controlled shipments by a factor of seven. 1,300 sqm is dedicated for shipments which require a 15°C to 25°C storage temperature, 260 sqm is available for pharmaceuticals in the 2° to 8°C range.

An additional 2,400 sqm of office space will be available for the head office of Swissport Cargo Services Germany and administrative and operational roles. The building will also be home to the operations offices for Air France-KLM, Swissport’s main customer in Frankfurt. The warehouse, locally known as FRA544, was built in less than a year.

“We are delighted to service our customers at this state-of-the-art facility, which adds to our global network of 115 warehouses and 14 Swissport Pharma Centers,” said Rudolf Steiner, head of cargo for the EMEA region.

Automation and electrification

Swissport has signed a long-term lease agreement for the new location and has invested in digitization and equipment, including an all-electric fleet of ground service vehicles for the handling of shipments inside the warehouse. Unit load devices (ULD) are stored and retrieved by an automated material handling system (MHS) with a storage capacity of 115 main deck ULDs.

A photovoltaic system on the roof of the building is the largest of its kind at Frankfurt Airport. It feeds more than 1.5 million kWh of sustainable solar energy per year, making it one of the most sustainable airport buildings.

To ensure efficient and automated handling of trucks delivering and picking up goods, Swissport relies on slot booking through the FAIR@Link app. It will make sure Swissport receives information about planned truck deliveries and collections with more lead time and improved accuracy. This allows for efficient resource planning, helps avoid peaks and mitigates the risk of congestion at the counters and ramps. FAIR@Link will in future also support Swissport with regards to the management of empty ULD and road feeder services (RFS / trucking).