New cool centre to open at Leipzig/Halle in April

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Leipzig/Halle Airport’s new cool centre will start operating in April and is set to boost the gateway’s cool chain tonnage.

Last year was a sterling year as the airport passed the one million tonnage mark for the first time as freight handled reached 1,052,000 tonnes. This investment is part of Leipzig/Halle’s efforts to continually and actively expand its portfolio of services.

The airport’s operator is Mitteldeutsche Flughafen and board spokesman and managing director, Johannes Jähn says the cool centre at the World Cargo Center, will accommodate complete aircraft loads in different cool zones.

He explains construction has involved a six-digit investment and it is directly linked to the growing demand for cool chain services in Eastern Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, which can be reached in a short time via the direct motorway links.

“We attach great importance to this sector and believe that we have long-term development potential here. We also assume that growth fields with the opportunity of one-stop shopping for all transport matters will open up in other sectors too and therefore strengthen our general cargo business beyond just the management of cool freight,” Jähn says.

Jähn is a member of the steering committee of the German Airports Association and heads the new specialist committee for airfreight and logistics set up in 1 January 2017.

He says 2017 has started in the same vein for Leipzig/Halle with significant volume growth.

The increase in January alone was about seven per cent at a figure of about 84,800 tonnes, while he notes a similar development looks likely in February too and the gateway is optimistic about prospects for 2017 with growth set to be fuelled by express business and the general cargo segment.

Jähn says the sectors driving this are e-commerce, military logistics, machinery and growing volumes of pharmaceutical goods, while the key trade lanes with the largest volumes involve services to and from the Far East and the Middle East.

The drivers are DHL, which operates its largest hub in Leipzig/Halle, and the Volga Dnepr Group, but he adds: “Developments in the freight charter business are largely positive too and the Antonov Design Bureau (AN-225 above) is actively involved here, among others.

“Overall, flights involving more than 40 airlines operated from Leipzig/Halle to 220 airports around the globe in this market segment alone in 2016.”

Europe’s fifth busiest gateway for cargo looks set to go from strength to strength and odds on to welcome more belly and freighter routes.

Jähn says: “We will continue to expand our activities in areas like freight charter in 2017 too. We are also working on long-term projects in the field of e-commerce, but also the transportation of large live animals.

“One flight took off for the Middle East with 165 cattle on board in February and was handled through our Animal Export Center.”