Shenzhen’s cargo vision

SHENZHEN Airport (China) officials have confirmed expansion plans, which include boosting airfreight capacity to two million tonnes per year in the short-term.

“In the long term, the existing freight area will be integrated and a new freight area will be built in the north side of Terminal 4,” Huang Min, director-general of the transport committee at Shenzhen municipality, said. “By then, 4.5 million tonnes of freight throughput will be met annually.”

A second runway opened in July. As part of its 2020 master plan Min revealed the “ultimate goal” of opening a third runway to handle escalating freight and passenger traffic.

He said the runway was likely to be financed by the airport group or the municipality, adding officials thought the terminal could be built under a public-private partnership. This could involve possibly domestic and international funding development of the terminal in exchange for a long-term build-and-operate concession.

As part of the airports extension plan every 10,000 tonnes of freight produced US$30.74 million of social and economic benefit, Min said. Shenzhen handled about 800,000 tonnes of freight last year, up 185 per cent from 2009. This followed the opening of the UPS Asia-Pacific cargo hub and the arrival of courier firm SF Express.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said cargo volumes this year had been hit by sluggish economic prospects in Europe and North America and a slowdown in domestic cargo. Cargo volumes in the first nine months managed a 1.1 per cent positive change.

Chen Fanhua, a general manager of Shenzhen Airport, forecast that cargo volumes could exceed 1.3 million tonnes by 2015, of which 650,000 tonnes was expected to be air express cargo. “By 2020, we may handle one million tonnes of air express,” he said.

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