Frankfurt air freight handlers conduct large-scale Covid-19 testing campaign
In the first week of January, three major air cargo handling companies FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services, LUG aircargo handling and Perishable Center Frankfurt (PCF) conducted a large-scale Coronavirus testing campaign at Frankfurt Airport. A total of around 1,500 employees of the companies, which together handle around 40 per cent of the air freight at Frankfurt Airport, were tested. Over several days, the Bensheim-based company Chemlab conducted the tests on site. The aim of the measure is to ensure even better protection of the workforce against infection in the company.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the personnel involved in cargo handling is experiencing a major challenge. Despite the cancellation of the biggest part of passenger flights, Frankfurt Airport recently handled far more cargo than in the previous year. The employees of FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services and LUG aircargo handling moved up to three times more cargo. This is primarily due to the high volumes of imported personal protective equipment. The staff is on duty around the clock to keep goods moving safely and quickly during the current crisis.
For Claus Wagner, managing director of FCS, the measure is another step forward in the company's infection protection concept: "The WFS Group, to which FCS belongs, has worldwide taken consistent protective measures since the beginning of the pandemic. Even in times with lower public case numbers, we have paid strong attention to compliance with the mask requirement and our hygiene concepts. The health of our employees is also a main concern for our shareholders WFS Worldwide Flight Services and Fraport AG. Especially after the holidays, we want our employees to be able to return to work with a good and safe feeling. As one of the largest cargo handlers at Frankfurt Airport, we must maintain our operational logistics processes for air cargo handling at all times."
Nina Strippel, site manager and COO at LUG aircargo handling, agrees: "We established a crisis team in the company at an early stage, which consulted frequently and initiated measures adapted to the respective situation. Through consistent implementation, we comprehensively protect our personnel. The protection of our employees has top priority for us, which is why we strongly supported the testing initiative."
The Perishable Center Frankfurt (PCF), Europe's largest air cargo hub for perishable goods, is also participating in the test campaign. "The staff of operational logistics has no opportunity to take advantage of home office protection. This presence at the workplace is unavoidable and we need to protect our employees as best we can. The quick testing campaign also gives families a bit of security," says Rainer Wittenfeld, managing director of PCF.
Chemlab managing director Harald Störk is satisfied with the move. He says, "Conducting the tests during ongoing shift operations was a logistical challenge that we were able to successfully overcome in a joint action with the freight handlers. Thanks to the good and flexible interaction of all the companies involved, we were able to test everyone quickly and efficiently."