Innovate and digitise top of the agenda at FRA

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Pushing innovation within the air cargo supply chain is a top priority for Fraport – the operator of Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

Senior vice president for cargo, Dirk Schusdziara (pictured below) says the hub wants to keep its role as “innovation leader”, adding it is always searching for new solutions “to offer our customers faster processes, greater reliability and transparency and an improved service”.

But Schusdziara says everyone across the chain has to be willing to exchange information, agree on common standards, and push forward innovations. “We have to develop from an EGOsystem where every company works only for itself to an ECOsystem where we all join forces – in order to stay competitive as an industry as a whole.

“Our Air Cargo Community Frankfurt is a perfect example on how we could work together in future,” he explains.

Schusdziara says it is intent on continuing its digital journey and with its community platform Fair@Link it sets the place for the most advanced airport community system. This is just the start and to continue this, Fraport is planning on adding some additional modules to Fair@Link.

Schusdziara says: “The German Customs’ system is linked to Fair@Link and with the cooperation of the community – we want to integrate the local EU border checkpoints. Like that, documentation and clearance can be digitalised speeding up the whole process.

Frankfurt Airport’s senior vice president of cargo, Dirk Schusdziara
Frankfurt Airport’s senior vice president of cargo, Dirk Schusdziara

“We also want to connect the shippers to the system, so they can enter data directly to the system. This proves especially interesting for special handling products like perishables, animals and DGR where many data has to be transmitted.

“Additionally, we are now developing a digital access control system to enhance the access and access control to our cargo areas. At the moment, all visitors to CargoCity have to register at the entrance gate. The new system will allow them to register in advance online to expedite access to their destination within the airport site.”

Other developments include a focus on cool chain and he says several parties are expanding their cool facilities. At the end of 2017, FRA will have more than 10,000 square metres of temperature-controlled areas. Another big project is the new Terminal 3, which will add cargo capacity and improve access to cargo areas thanks to a new autobahn interchange.

“We are also investigating the need of a second truck parking lot. Last year, we opened a new truck parking lot with very good results. The new facility has reduced traffic congestion and enhanced the overall experience for truck drivers,” Schusdziara says.

Things are looking good. In Q1, this year freight traffic rose 5.8 per cent to 530,000 tonnes, which Schusdziara says is the highest in the period for six years.