State-of-the-art Air Cargo Warehouse for CargoCity South

Inside, an automated material handling system for containers and pallets, plus areas at different temperatures for pharmaceutical products and sensitive goods, and on the roof the first large photovoltaic facility at Frankfurt Airport – in CargoCity South, a state-of-the-art air cargo warehouse is being built for Fraport customer Swissport Cargo Services Germany.
Last November, Fraport AG and Swissport Cargo Services Germany GmbH laid the foundation stone for a new cargo handling warehouse in CargoCity South, which should go into operation in the fourth quarter of this year. “We are building for the future. Frankfurt is one of the largest hubs in the world and the most important cargo site for us in Germany,” says Swissport project manager Mirjam Sladkowski. With the warehouse, Swissport is increasing its storage space in Frankfurt by more than 40 percent from the current 12,000 to 17,000 square meters, and expects the loading height to increase accordingly. After completion, the freight center in CargoCity South will be the fourth largest of a total of 115 warehouses belonging to the world’s largest ground handling provider. It has a capacity of over 200,000 tons per year.

Fraport is using the construction of the warehouse to reduce the CO2 footprint at their Frankfurt site. The largest photovoltaic system in the entire airport is being built on the roof. It can produce around 1.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to supply 450 households of four people with electricity for a year. This independently generated renewable energy flows directly into the Fraport power grid.

The planning of the most modern warehouse at Frankfurt Airport was carried out by M&P Architects from Hünstetten-Kesselbach, who have already designed air freight warehouses in other locations across Europe. “This prior experience, combined with modular industrial construction and our expertise in construction project development, particularly in the logistics field, are the decisive factors for the success of the project,” says Jan Sieben, Head of Real Estate Development at Fraport AG.

“The new Swissport air cargo warehouse is an innovative solution for the Frankfurt site, equipped with a state-of-the-art conveyor system and large cooling areas with different temperature zones.”

Jan Sieben, Head of Real Estate Development at Fraport AG

The move marks the beginning of a new technical era for Swissport in Frankfurt. Lödige Industries in Warburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, set up an automatic material handling system according to the requirements of Swissport’s internal processes. At the heart of the system are two Electronic Transport Vehicles (ETVs) or lifters that carry the aircraft containers – Unit Load Devices (ULD) – from the delivery gate to the correct positions in the rack storage area automatically. In the Swissport warehouse there is space for 115 Main Deck ULDs on two levels and there is an option to upgrade to three levels. Five of the 31 truck or van gates have special truck docks for ULD handling. One of them is located directly at the Pharma Center. For pharmaceutical products and temperature-sensitive consignments such as foodstuffs or flowers, Swissport is increasing its temperature-controlled warehouse capacity to 1,300 square meters at 15 to 25°C, and 280 square meters at 2 to 8°C. As soon as Swissport begins operations, its expertise in handling pharmaceutical products will also be certified in this warehouse by the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) of the umbrella organization of airlines, IATA. The new cargo handling warehouse at Frankfurt Airport, along with those in Nairobi, Helsinki, Basel and five others owned by Swissport, will then also be certified to this standard.

Fraport has further expansion areas in CargoCity South, where more air cargo warehouses will be built in the future.

“We are building for the future. Frankfurt is one of the largest hubs in the world and the most important cargo site for us in Germany.”

Swissport project manager Mirjam Sladkowski

Text: Marion Frahm
Photos: Fraport AG, Ralf Graner Photodesign
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