WFS opens 5th cargo terminal at Madrid Airport

The new facility was formally opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony by John Batten, chief executive, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia (EMEAA) at WFS, and Humberto Castro, managing director of WFS in Spain & Italy. Photo: WFS

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has increased its cargo handling capacity by 60% at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport with the opening of its fifth cargo terminal.

The ground handler has signed a 30-year lease on the new building opening, which sits on a 12,500 sq m site with 6,500 sq m of warehouse, connected to the airport tarmac. 

The building provides WFS and its customers with 17 landside truck/van docks for efficient cargo collections and deliveries plus two BUP dedicated docks with by-pass ability; direct access from the airport main road to the facility; two build-up pallet lanes and docks; four airside truck docks with 20-feet ULD handling capabilities, a secured refrigerated cargo acceptance area; and 2-8°C and 15-25°C temperature-controlled cool rooms for pharma and perishable shipments, supported by WFS’ GDP (Good Distribution Practice) certification in Madrid.

There is also a Material Handling System connecting the landside and airside docks; four integrated lowerable workstations with scales and three loose cargo scales; dedicated areas for DGS, VUN, HUM, PIL and AVI special cargoes; optimised security systems and technologies, including 24/7 CCTV monitoring; and modern office accommodation.

This new building is located alongside the main freighter parking area and close to Terminals 4 and 4S, shortening cargo transport times, said WFS.

The facility is powered by 100% renewable energy which provides the LED lighting supply, warehouse climatisation, plus electric battery chargers for cars and warehouse GSE. Indoor AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles) will also be introduced in the second half of 2024.

The facility uses Cargospot mobile warehouse technology, the CargoKiosk digital system to automate and expedite truck processing times and a Warehouse Workflow Monitoring System to meet customer KPIs and ensure consistent levels of efficiency.  

The terminal was formally opened by John Batten, chief executive, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia (EMEAA) at WFS, alongside Humberto Castro, managing director of WFS in Spain and Italy.

“It is a proud day for WFS to be opening another state-of-the-art cargo handling facility in the EMEAA region,” Batten said. “New cargo terminals provide us with the opportunity to embrace our sustainability and digitalisation programmes from day one of the operation.

“This facility demonstrates our long-term commitment to Madrid and our current and future customers serving this growing airport.”

Castro added: “Madrid is strategically important to WFS as a premier European hub for Central and South America cargo volumes, as well as its easy connections for goods moving across the EU and to the Middle and Far East markets. It is also one of the preferred e-commerce destinations in Europe, which is an area of major growth today.”

The new terminal increases WFS’ total cargo facility footprint in Madrid to 17,000 sq m and is expected to support the growing volumes of its 65 airline customers as well as providing expansion opportunities.

In the last 12 months, WFS has renewed cargo contracts in Madrid with customers including Air China, Air Europa, Etihad Airways, Pegasus, Turkish Airlines and World2Fly. It has also signed new agreements with CMA CGM and TAAG Angola Airlines. 

WFS has previously opened additional facilities in Madrid in 2001, 2018 and 2019.

WFS scores cargo handling deal with Etihad at 12 airports

WFS extends handling contract with Air China Cargo in Madrid

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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]