Monday, June 17, 2024
Connecting Europe to the world

Connecting Europe to the world

Positioned as a central hub for both cargo and passenger operations, Brussels Airport plays a crucial role in bolstering trade. As a cargo hub, the airport efficiently facilitates the movement of goods, functioning as a gateway to Europe and various global destinations, connecting businesses to markets worldwide.

Brussels Airport serves as an integral component of an innovative and sustainable multimodal logistics solution. This integrated system involves the transport of high-value and time-sensitive cargo via air, complemented by the arrival of large volumes of bulk and containerised products via vessels at the nearby Port of Antwerp-Bruges.

Positioned between these two influential hubs is the inland waterway node of Willebroek. Cargo trains play a pivotal role, linking Flanders and Belgium to Germany and Poland, and extending further into China’s belt & road network.

“Brussels functions as a central hub for both cargo and passenger operations, serving a vital role in enhancing regional connectivity and international trade,” Dimitri Bettoni, Brussels Airport’s Head of Cargo – Product and Network Development, stated.

“The robust passenger network not only serves as a primary entry point for travellers to Belgium and the broader European region but also contributes significant belly capacity, providing greater flexibility for forwarders and agents.” 

Growth approach

Geopolitical developments have significantly affected the airfreight industry. Despite these challenges, maintaining their focus on their core strategy has allowed Brussels Airport’s cargo volumes to remain comparable to those of their peer airports. 

While not anticipating substantial improvements or major changes in the geopolitical situation for the remainder of 2024 and, therefore cargo volumes, Brussels Airport does expect to see a transition from China to Europe to Southeast Asia to Europe,and a shift from Latin America to Europe, with Africa to Europe emerging subsequently

“Concentration and commitment to four primary commodity groups, coupled with an customer-centric approach, have been the driving forces behind the growth and success of Brussels Airport Cargo and its community,” Bettoni said.

“Our customers are not just clients but long-term partners, with whom we foster shared interests and actively pursue market differentiation.”

READ: Brussels Airport has received a new environmental permit of unlimited duration

Keeping competitive

In the domains of Pharmaceuticals, Perishables, Live Animals, and e-commerce, the aim is to achieve optimal process flows and transparency through the implementation of digital solutions, leveraging their extensive network to optimise the end-to-end logistics for each group.

“Thriving in the increasingly competitive market is no simple task, given the external challenges, including the renewal of our license, environmental considerations, and competition from neighbouring airports,” Bettoni explained.

“However, these challenges compel us to intensify our focus on our inherent strengths as a diversified airport, distinguished by a unique location and unwavering commitment to quality and innovation.

“Our commitment remains steadfast to our strategy, based on our focus segments, in the upcoming years. 

“While addressing occasional challenges that may arise, the Brussels Airport Cargo team will persist in strengthening its capabilities, solidifying its position as a leader in innovative end-to-end logistics solutions.”

READ: Brussels Airport adds six airlines and nine destinations for the summer

Digital driver

The BRUcloud, introduced by Nallian and Brussels Airport in 2014 was pioneered as the first community digital platform of its kind. Over time, it has evolved into a benchmark for digitisation and collaborative efforts within the community. 

The advanced functionalities of BRUcloud will additionally contribute to enhancing transparency in these processes, facilitating seamless integration into third-party solutions. This integrated approach positions the airport to provide a global network of connectivity, encompassing both full freighter and belly freight capacity.

“We are pleased to witness other airports and community platforms undertaking similar initiatives, elevating our industry’s standards of professionalism and transparency, and fostering collaborative endeavours that propel us toward a network of cloud cooperations,” Bettoni highlighted. 

“A good example of one of our digital solutions is the Digital Green Lane. In summary, the Digital Green Lane enhanced visibility, collaboration, and efficiency in cargo operations. By embracing technology and automation, the platform contributes to a more agile and customer-centric approach to cargo handling at Brussels Airport.”

Picture of Edward Hardy

Edward Hardy

Having become a journalist after university, Edward Hardy has been a reporter and editor at some of the world's leading publications and news sites. In 2022, he became Air Cargo Week's Editor. Got news to share? Contact me on Edward.Hardy@AirCargoWeek.com

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