Swissport Brussels pharma center opens

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Oct 24, 2019: Swissport International, one of the leading cargo handling companies, yesterday announced the opening of its state-of-the-art Pharma Center for temperature-sensitive cargo shipments at Brussels Airport.

The new facility offers 3,620 square metres of temperature-controlled warehouse space. Upon completion, the cargo complex will boast some 25,000 square metres of warehouse space.

According to the cargo handing firm, this facility is the ‘company’s most advanced temperature-controlled cargo warehouse globally’.

The new center is located adjacent to Swissport’s existing air cargo facility in the northwest of the airport in the Belgian capital.

Luzius Wirth, executive vice president Europe, Middle East & Africa of Swissport International said: “We can now provide a seamless, high-quality service from the trucks to the aircraft cargo hold. The Swissport Pharma Center at Brussels Airport will play a key role in our growing global network of temperature-controlled warehouses. We are excited to contribute to a thriving Belgian Pharma Valley.” 

“In the new Swissport Pharma Center two important Belgian assets come together, our unique location in Europe and a traditionally strong pharma sector,” says Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Development Cooperation. 

“Belgium is the second largest pharma exporter in Europe and no airport in the world has a better quality track record in temperature-sensitive transport of pharmaceutical products than Brussels Airport. I am convinced that the new Swissport Pharma Center will further boost these important Belgian assets.” 

Featuring two areas for the handling of pharmaceutical products, the facility is equipped with eight dedicated truck docks, allowing for a fully temperature-controlled transfer of containers and pallets to the warehouse, regardless of the outside temperature. 

The facility’s new, automated material handling system with its 432 rack and ground positions, caster decks and associated forklifts and pallet movers, which are exclusively operated in the high-sensitive pharma area, ensure an efficient and safe handling. 

Swissport has signed a 20-year lease contract for the new facility and is investing roughly 11 million Euros in interior fittings, namely an automated material handling system and special cooling installations.

Construction work at the new facility started in January 2019 and will take about two years to complete in a phased approach. After a construction period of only ten months, the Swissport Pharma Center is the first part of a refurbishment project, which covers 25,000 sqm of warehouse space. 

Landside, the completed warehouse will feature 47 truck loading bays in a closed perimeter. Airside, ‘speed gates’ will facilitate quick and efficient cargo handling.

The full development project will also include a new four-story office building, to be completed in the autumn of 2020.

Swissport Belgium handles more than 550,000 tonnes of air cargo per year.

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