Inside Logistics

New pharma handling facility in Brussels

Swissport is investing in a state-of-the-art air cargo facility at Brussels Airport


July 10, 2019
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Swissport handled 4.8 million tons of air freight in 2018.

BRUSSELS – Swissport is investing in a state-of-the-art air cargo facility at Brussels Airport. While Brussels Airport Company is constructing the building, Swissport has signed a long-term lease and is investing several million euros in equipment and fittings for the new facility.

The building will consist of a 270,000 square foot warehouse, a material handling system, office space and almost 40,000 sq.ft. of end-to-end facilities in the new Swissport Pharma Center.

The new centre will have an increased surface area for pharmaceutical products. Ambient pharma space (+15° to +25°C) will more than triple from 8,600 sq.ft. 28,000 sq.ft. Additionally, a 11,000 sq.ft. cooling facility (+2° to +8°C) will be available.

“Our new warehouse and the state-of-the-art Swissport Pharma Center will be the benchmark for modern and efficient air cargo and pharma logistics”, says Luzius Wirth, executive vice-president Europe, Middle-East & Africa (EMEA) for Swissport.

“The investment underlines our commitment to the Belgian market. In parallel we are working to improve the profitability of our Belgian business activities in order to create long-term job security for our staff.”

Construction of the new Swissport facility started in January 2019 and will take about two years to complete, following a phased approach. Both demolition and construction works are in full swing.

The warehouse will be equipped with an automated Material Handling System (MHS) and is set to meet the highest industry standards. Landside it will include 50 truck loading bays in a closed perimeter. Airside there will be “speed gates”, enabling time efficient logistics processes from the warehouse into the aircraft cargo hold.

Swissport Belgium, with a workforce of some 2,000 employees, handles more than 550,000 tons of air cargo. Its ground services division serves approximately 7.5 million passengers per year.

In 2018, Swissport International AG handled roughly 4.8 million tons of air freight in 115 cargo warehouses worldwide. Several of its warehouses have been certified for pharmaceutical logistics by IATA’s CEIV. At the end of June 2019, Swissport was active at 310 airports in 49 countries on six continents.

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