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State-of-the-art logistics hub opens at Brussels Airport

At Brucargo, the logistics zone of Brussels Airport (Zaventem), a new building for goods handling has been officially opened. The 50,000 m2 complex has direct access to the tarmac and houses Kuehne+Nagel (the most recent winner of the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy), Worldwide Flight Services and Expeditors. Construction lasted two years and was part of a EUR 100-million investment program.

Logistics hub

Thanks to its central location in the midst of all major industrial centers, Brucargo, the logistics zone of Brussels Airport is a crucial motor for Flanders’ economic growth. More than 100 different logistics players are based there, specializing in perishable goods, pharmaceuticals and e-commerce, among other things.

In that sense, Brucargo is Flanders’ second-most important logistics center for international trade and air transport across Europe, after the Port of Antwerp. In 2020, nearly 650,000 tons of goods were shipped through Brussels Airport.

EUR 100-million investment

Brussels Airport has been investing for years to further expand the logistics hub, funneling a total of EUR 100 million in the construction of ultra-modern logistics buildings. This includes a new building for the company Brinks for the transport of high-value goods, and the Animal Care & Inspection Center for the temporary reception and transport of various animal species.

In addition, investments were made in the renovation of several existing buildings, including that of Swissport Cargo. Most recently, there is the construction of the brand-new 50,000 m2 logistics complex at Brucargo West.

Cold storage space for vaccines

With this last investment, Brussels Airport meets the needs of three companies – Kuehne+Nagel, Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and Expeditors – which are responsible for the transport, packaging and temporary storage of cargo. Brucargo West provides additional first-line freight handling infrastructure (WFS), increasing maximum cargo handling capacity. This enables the anchoring of Expeditors' and Kuehne+Nagel's air cargo activities in the region.

Kuehne+Nagel is also expanding its handling capacity for perishable goods at Brussels Airport, including the temperature-controlled storage and transport of flowers, vegetables and fruit. The new infrastructure is specifically adapted for the handling of pharmaceutical products, particularly vaccines – products that Brussels Airport specializes in. With more than 30,000 m² of cold storage space, it is one of the world's leading airports in this field. This cargo hub, alongside the construction of a new European distribution center in Tessenderlo (Flanders), earned Kuehne+Nagel the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy 2021.

Expeditors is expanding its healthcare program in Europe and has chosen Brucargo as the pharmaceutical hub to connect its European network with the rest of the world. The new healthcare facility of Expeditors, combined with fully temperature-controlled, end-to-end logistics, is a differentiator in the market for the distribution of vaccines and highly sensitive pharmaceutical products. Expeditors' new facility already plays a key role in the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines and related medical products.

Crucial economic platform

Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport, is thrilled with the new developments:

Thanks to Brucargo West, we have additional logistics installations for the safe transport of pharmaceutical products and COVID-19 vaccines.

Arnaud Feist
CEO of Brussels Airport

"We are thus expanding our first-line logistics infrastructure and temperature-controlled facilities and today have the largest cold storage capacity of any European airport. Brussels Airport is a proactive investor that strives to make the logistics chain even more efficient and adapt it to future growth. In this way we ensure that the airport remains a crucial economic platform in Belgium in terms of employment and added value to our country's economy,” the CEO adds.

Sustainable solutions

Sustainability was a key consideration during the construction of this project. Part of the roof surface was set up as a green roof. In time, the entire surface can be equipped with solar panels. The buildings are also designed to use water sparingly, thanks to the installation of wadis for water filtration and rainwater pits.

The complex is equipped with LED lighting and heat pumps. To improve mobility on the airport grounds and enable more sustainable transportation of staff, charging points for electric vehicles have been installed in the zone. Two additional bus stops and a new bicycle path complete the mobility offer.

More info

Brussels Airport
Reported by
websites Made In and TRANSPORTMEDIA
12 May 2021

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