dnata creates US$225m cargo facility at Schiphol airport

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The air and travel services provider dnata has invested more than €200m (US$225m) in a 61,000m² fully automated cargo center at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) in the Netherlands.

The facility, named dnata Cargo City Amsterdam, is scheduled to become operational in 2024 and has been created to enhance cargo capacity in the Netherlands, create new jobs and expand customers’ operations. The facility will include 19,000m² of warehouse space and be capable of processing over 850,000 tons of cargo annually. It has also been designed to handle perishables, pharmaceuticals, dangerous goods, mail, live animals, aircraft engines and vehicles.

Equipped with two separate automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), the facility will use 12 Lödige stacker cranes and have a capacity of 2,500 pallets. In addition, a separate storage space for unit load devices (ULDs) will be serviced by four elevating transport vehicles (ETV). dnata will also make use of seven intelligent automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to enable flexible and scalable ULD transportation within the terminal.

Another feature will be the implementation of smart gates, which automatically record the volume and weight of all incoming consignments by scanning them in 3D, thus speeding up handling. All elements will be integrated into a comprehensive warehouse management system to enable dnata to further grow its operations and service at Schiphol airport. This automation is expected to save the company time, space as well as improve the facility’s safety and enable staff to take on higher-value tasks.

David Barker, the divisional senior vice president for airport operations at dnata, said, “We are thrilled to announce a massive, long-term investment in our cargo operations. dnata Cargo City Amsterdam will be a game-changer in the regional cargo industry, delivering significant commercial benefits for our partners, their customers and the local economy.

“Our new cargo facility will enable us to meet the rapidly growing demand for our efficient and reliable services, providing best-in-class solutions to our customers. In addition, it will help us continue to consistently deliver on our two core promises of quality and safety. We thank Schiphol airport’s teams for their support and are looking forward to continuing our successful partnership to strengthen Amsterdam’s position as a leading cargo hub in the continent.”

Jan Weissink, managing director, commercial, Schiphol airport, said, “Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is Europe’s best-connected airport, with the most direct air destinations. The cargo operation is of critical importance to our airport’s network which became even more evident during the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with dnata and other partners, Schiphol is working on a highly successful, efficient and sustainable cargo operation. We are delighted to have started the construction of dnata Cargo City Amsterdam for one of our most important partners in the cargo operation at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.”

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