Swissport develops state-of-the-art pharma center at its brussels air cargo facility

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 25,000 sqm warehouse, a material handling system, office space and 3,620 sqm of end-to-end facilities in the new Swissport Pharma Center.

An advanced warehouse, a brand-new, four-story office building for Swissport and its customers and state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facilities will provide Swissport with the necessary infrastructure to take its cargo service delivery at Brussels Airport to the next level. The brand new Swissport Pharma Center will feature an increased surface area for pharmaceutical products. Ambient pharma space (+15° to +25°C) will more than triple from 800 sqm to 2,620 sqm. Additionally, a 1,000 sqm cooling facility (+2° to +8°C) will be available. With its new end-to-end cool chain, Swissport intends to further grow its share in the pharma air transport business in Brussels and worldwide.

“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 25,000 sqm warehouse will be equipped with an automated Material Handling System (MHS) and is set to meet the highest industry standards. Landside it will feature 50 truck loading bays in a closed perimeter and a highly efficient acceptance zone. 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 provided best-in-class airport ground services for some 282 million airline passengers and 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. The world’s leading provider of airport ground services and air cargo handling, with 66,000 employees, achieved consolidated operating revenue of 2.99 billion euros in 2018. At the end of June 2019, Swissport was active at 310 airports in 49 countries on six continents.