Monday, June 17, 2024
Frankfurt CargoHub: Fraport launches investment package for cargo

Frankfurt CargoHub: Fraport launches investment package for cargo

Airport operator Fraport is strategically aligning its Frankfurt hub with forecast growth in the air cargo business. Driven by growing global trade, the air cargo industry is expected to expand further over the medium and long term both globally and within Europe. The Frankfurt CargoHub is projected to follow this overall market trend, with airfreight volumes in Frankfurt forecast to exceed three million metric tons by 2040.

This represents an increase of around 50 percent on the previous peak reached in 2021. At the same time, the entire logistics sector faces major challenges, particularly in relation to altered goods flows, digitization, and sustainability.

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Dr Pierre Dominique Prümm, Fraport AG’s Executive Director for Aviation and Infrastructure, said: “Given the expected growth and changing requirements, now is the right time for a comprehensive innovation and investment package. We’re developing our airport sustainably and in line with actual demand. This is why we’re launching the CargoHub Masterplan. Our aim is to position the Frankfurt CargoHub for the future – thus making a clear contribution to growth in the state of Hesse as an economic powerhouse in the heart of Germany and Europe.”

Fraport aims to ensure Frankfurt Airport’s position as Europe’s #1 CargoHub by freight throughput. To achieve this, the master plan involves three critical initiatives for developing the FRA location: digitization and process innovation, space optimization, and space development.

In other words, Fraport is adopting comprehensive digitized processes to boost efficiency further and facilitate straightforward, seamless, and transparent logistics. A key aspect of the transformation is the Cargo Community System, which uses data-driven dashboards and analysis to give participating companies real-time insights and smart management options. To develop the system further, Fraport and software developer DAKOSY have formed a joint venture called Allivate. A roadmap has already been agreed upon with the cargo community that will accelerate the digital transformation for cargo even further.

Fraport also plans to redesign and develop existing spaces inside CargoCity South. The plan is to swap flight operations areas and cargo spaces to free up 43,000 square meters of additional cargo space directly connecting to the apron. The move will also create 20,000 square meters of additional space for ground handling and special services. Under the plan, the 18 affected aircraft positions will remain available in the future, albeit under a new arrangement. Fraport is undertaking intensive discussions with the appropriate regulatory authorities about the change and will initiate the necessary zoning modification process shortly.

Given the growing cargo volumes, Fraport is also planning to expand its capacities for logistics handling in a way that matches particularly the needs of cargo. The vision is for a new LogisticsHub West that draws on sustainable, digitized, and smart infrastructure to be built on the site of the former Ticona plant on the airport’s western flank. The development is to happen in two stages: From 2028, logistics facilities will be made available, including up to 150,000 square meters of warehouse space built on a site totalling around 250,000 square meters. Operational facilities for other airport functions will occupy a further 35,000 square meters. The basis for this is the existing zoning plan. Due to its vicinity to the Northwest Runway, the location also offers the potential for a connection to the airport’s airside area. After 2030, LogisticsHub West will also be developed into a trimodal hub that includes road, rail, and air connections.

“When developing our plans, we’re always considering the needs of our customers and partners and our neighbours. We’re communicating transparently to develop the airport sustainably and in a way that works for everyone,” said Max Philipp Conrady, SVP of Cargo Development and Management at Fraport AG. “The guiding principle for our vision is ‘Creating the Future of Cargo Together’: that’s because the development will only work if we cooperate with everyone affected, particularly the local cargo community.”

Dietmar Focke, Chief Operations Officer at Lufthansa Cargo AG and a member of the Executive Board at Air Cargo Community Frankfurt e.V. commented: “We welcome the planned measures because they are providing solutions for the current challenges faced by the industry. There is a growing demand for digitization and automation within the community. We need timely, digital processes – particularly for the growing e-commerce business. At Lufthansa Cargo, we’re boosting and updating our presence at the Frankfurt hub by investing €500 million in our infrastructure. We’re also ordering new cargo aircraft. These decisions underscore our commitment to Frankfurt.”

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FRA handles more cargo annually than any other European cargo hub. All major companies in the global logistics industry operate from Frankfurt Airport. By working with the cargo community, Fraport provides a full-service portfolio for the secure, rapid, and efficient handling of all types of cargo. The CargoHub masterplan is part of the Group’s overall strategy, “Fraport 2030.”

Picture of Anastasiya Simsek

Anastasiya Simsek

Anastasiya Simsek started her journalism career in 2016 at Ukrainian TV-Channels: 24 Channel and 1+1 Media. Having worked across a number of different sectors, including news, medicine and lifestyle, she joined the Air Cargo Week editorial team in 2024. To share your news and exclusive insights, contact Anastasiya.Simsek@AirCargoWeek.com

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