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WFS increases handling capacity by 60% in Madrid with opening of fifth cargo terminal to meet growth

WFS increases handling capacity by 60% in Madrid with opening of fifth cargo terminal to meet growth

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a member of the SATS Group, has increased cargo handling capacity by 60% at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport with the official opening of its fifth cargo terminal.

The new facility, which secures WFS’ position as Madrid’s largest independent cargo handling provider, was formally opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony by John Batten, Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia (EMEAA) at WFS, and Humberto Castro, Managing Director of WFS in Spain & Italy.

The new terminal increases WFS’ total cargo facility footprint in Madrid to 17,000 square metres and will support the growing volumes of its thriving client base of 65 airline customers as well as providing expansion opportunities. In the last 12 months, WFS has renewed cargo contracts in Madrid with customers including Air China, Air Europa, Etihad Airways, Pegasus, Turkish Airlines and World2Fly, and signed new agreements with CMA CGM and TAAG Angola Airlines.

“It is a proud day for WFS to be opening another state-of-the-art cargo handling facility in the EMEAA region. New cargo terminals provide us with the opportunity to embrace our sustainability and digitalisation programmes from day one of the operation. This facility demonstrates our long-term commitment to Madrid and our current and future customers serving this growing airport,” John Batten said.

WFS has been a leading provider of cargo, ground handling, and national and European road feeder services for airlines in Madrid since 1998 and has consistently invested to increase and upgrade its handling infrastructure. WFS has previously opened additional facilities in Madrid in 2001, 2018, and 2019.

In support of its long-term commitment to the airport and its airline community, WFS has signed a 30-year lease on the new building opening, which sits on a 12,500 square metres site with 6,500 square metres of warehouse, connected to the airport tarmac. The building provides WFS and its customers with:

  • 17 landside truck/van docks for efficient
  • cargo collections and deliveries plus2 BUP dedicated docks with by-passability
  • Direct access from the airport main road to the facility
  • 2 build-up pallet lanes and docks
  • 4 airside truck docks with 20-feet ULD handling capabilities
  • A secured refrigerated cargo acceptance area
  • 2-8°C and 15-25°C temperature-controlled cool rooms for pharma and perishable shipments, supported by WFS’ GDP (Good Distribution Practice) certification in Madrid
  • A Material Handling System connecting the landside and airside docks
  • 4 integrated lowerable workstations with scales and 3 loose cargo scales
  • Dedicated areas for DGS, VUN, HUM, PIL and AVI special cargoes
  • Optimised security systems and technologies, including 24/7 CCTV monitoring
  • Modern office accommodation

This new building is located alongside the main freighter parking area and close to Terminals 4 and 4S, shortening cargo transport times. It has also been designed to support WFS’ commitment to sustainability and digitisation.

The facility is powered by 100% renewable energy which provides the LED lighting supply, warehouse climatization, and electric battery chargers for cars and warehouse GSE. Indoor AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles) will also be introduced in the second half of 2024.

The facility uses Cargospot mobile warehouse technology, the CargoKiosk digital system to automate and expedite truck processing times, and a Warehouse Workflow Monitoring System to meet customer KPIs and ensure consistent levels of efficiency.

Humberto Castro added: “Madrid is strategically important to WFS as a premier European hub for Central and South America cargo volumes, as well as its easy connections for goods moving across the EU and to the Middle and Far East markets. It is also one of the preferred e-commerce destinations in Europe, which is an area of major growth today.

“Our continued investment at the airport shows WFS’s intention to remain the leading provider of cargo and ground services in Madrid and to remain a key part of the airport’s continued success.”