WFS adds air cargo capacity in Madrid

The new building will increase WFS' total cargo facility footprint in Madrid to 17,000 sq m. Source: WFS

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) will open a fifth cargo handling terminal at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport to provide additional growth capacity.

Construction of the new 6,500 sq m terminal has now commenced and WFS aims to begin operations from the facility by the end of the first quarter of 2024, increasing its total cargo facility footprint in Madrid to 17,000 sq m.

WFS, acquired by SATS in April, has signed a 30-year lease on the new building opening in 2024, which sits on a 12,500 sq m plot connected to the airport tarmac.

The building will offer 17 landside truck and van docks for efficient cargo collections and deliveries, supported by direct and wide access from the main road to the facility; two Build-up-Pallet lanes and docks; and four airside truck and dollies docks with tilting and 20 ft ULD handling capabilities.

It will also feature a secured refrigerated cargo acceptance area, plus 2-8°C and 15-25°C loose and mechanised temperature-controlled cool rooms for pharma and perishable shipments, supported by WFS’ GDP certification in Madrid.

Additionally, it will include a mechanised handling system connecting the landside and airside docks; four integrated workstations with scales, and three loose cargo scales; dedicated areas for DGS, VUN, HUM, PIL and AVI special cargoes; and optimised security systems and technologies, including 24/7 CCTV monitoring.

This new building is situated in front of the main freighter parking area and close to Terminals 4 and 4S, shortening cargo transport timings, said WFS.

The multi-user building will match WFS’ other cargo terminals in Madrid by being powered by 100% renewable energy, including energy generation by solar panels located on the roof of the facility, which will also power LED lighting, warehouse climatisation, and electric battery chargers for cars and warehouse GSE.

Indoor AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles) will also be introduced into the facility in the second half of 2024.    

Digitisation initiatives will include the launch of Cargospot mobile warehouse technology, the CargoKiosk system to automate and expedite truck processing times, and a Warehouse Workflow Monitoring System to meet customer KPIs and ensure consistent levels of efficiency.  

Humberto Castro, managing director of WFS in Spain, said: “Madrid is such a strategically important cargo market as a hub for Central and South America to and from the EU and connecting the Middle and Far East markets.

“This new cargo terminal will help to future-proof WFS’ service offering by increasing our handling capacity by 60% for our current and future airline customers.

“This will enable us to accommodate strong organic growth and support the significant increase of inbound e-commerce traffic from China.”

WFS has been present in the Madrid cargo and ground handling market since 1998 and serves 39 airline customers, also providing trucking services connecting other key airports in Spain and across the EU.

It has previously added facilities to its Madrid operation in 2001, 2018, and 2019.

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]