Swissport opens state-of-the-art Pharma Center at Brussels Airport

Ground services provider Swissport International has opened a new Pharma Center for handling temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical shipments at Brussels Airport.

The new facility, opened today (October 23), has 3,620 sq m of temperature-controlled warehouse space.

It incorporates two areas dedicated to the handling of pharmaceutical products. One area, covering 2,620 sq m, is for shipments require to be kept in a temperature range of +15°C to +25°C. This is three times the area formerly available to Swissport at the gateway for keeping cargo in this temperature range.

Another 1,000 sq m of space is available for cargo to be kept at temperatures in the +2° to +8°C range.

The facility has eight dedicated truck docks, allowing fully temperature-controlled transfer of containers and pallets to the warehouse.

Its automated material handling system offers 432 rack and ground positions, castor decks and associated forklifts and pallet movers.

The facility is said by Swissport to be the company’s “most advanced temperature-controlled cargo warehouse globally”. It is sited adjacent to the handler’s pre-existing air cargo facility in the northwest area of the airport.

Swissport has signed a 20-year lease contract on the new facility and is investing roughly €11m in interior fittings, including an automated material handling system and cooling systems.

Luzius Wirth, executive vice president Europe, Middle East & Africa at Swissport International, pointed out: “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,” Wirth added.

After a construction period of ten months (construction work on the new facility started in January this year), the Swissport Pharma Center represents the first part of a wider refurbishment project for the handler at Brussels Airport, which will come to take in a total of 25,000 square metres of warehouse space in a phased process of development.

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 currently handles more than 550,000 tons of air cargo a year.

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