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WFS Invests in a Fifth, New-Build Cargo Terminal in Madrid to Provide Growth Capacity

WFS Invests in a Fifth, New-Build Cargo Terminal in Madrid to Provide Growth Capacity

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a member of The SATS Group, is to open a fifth cargo handling terminal at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport to provide additional growth capacity and secure its position as Madrid’s largest independent handling provider.

Construction of the new 6,500m₂ terminal has now commenced and WFS aims to begin operations from the facility by the end of Q1 2024, increasing its total cargo facility footprint in Madrid to 17,000m₂.

WFS has been present in the Madrid cargo and ground handling market since 1998 and serves 39 airline customers, also providing trucking services connecting other key airports in Spain and across the EU. It has been proactively investing in its operation in Madrid for over two decades to meet customer growth at Spain’s leading cargo airport, previously adding additional facilities 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 in 2024, which sits on a 12,500m2 plot connected to the airport tarmac.

As with all new WFS cargo terminals, the building is being designed to incorporate the highest levels of safety, security, and customer service as well as to support WFS’ progressive digitisation and sustainability programmes. The building will offer:

  • 17 landside truck and van docks for efficient cargo collections and deliveries, supported by direct and wide access from the main road to the facility
  • 2 Build-up-Pallet lanes and docks
  • 4 airside truck and dollies docks with tilting and 20-foot ULD handling capabilities
  • A secured refrigerated cargo acceptance area
  • 2-8°C and 15-25°C loose and mechanised temperature-controlled cool rooms for pharma and perishable shipments, supported by WFS’ GDP certification in Madrid
  • A mechanised handling system connecting the landside and airside docks
  • 4 integrated 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 situated in front of the main freighter parking area and close to Terminals 4 and 4S, shortening cargo transport timings.

The new multi-user building will match WFS’ other cargo terminals in Madrid by being powered by 100% renewable energy, including energy generation by solar panels located on the roof of the facility, which will also power LED lighting, warehouse climatization, and electric battery chargers for cars and warehouse GSE. Indoor AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles) will also be introduced into the facility in the second half of 2024.    

Digitisation initiatives will include the launch of Cargospot mobile warehouse technology, the CargoKiosk system to automate and expedite truck processing times, and a Warehouse Workflow Monitoring System to meet customer KPIs and ensure consistent levels of efficiency.  

“Madrid is such a strategically important cargo market as a hub for Central and South America to and from the EU and connecting the Middle and Far East markets. This new cargo terminal will help to future-proof WFS’ service offering by increasing our handling capacity by 60% for our current and future airline customers. This will enable us to accommodate strong organic growth and support the huge increase of inbound e-commerce traffic from China,” said Humberto Castro, Managing Director of WFS in Spain.

In the past 24 months, WFS has been awarded new handling contracts in Madrid by Evelop Airlines, Orbest Airlines, Fleet Air, Kuwait Airways, National Airlines, Silk Way Airlines, and UAS. It has also won contract extensions from Aeromexico, Air China Cargo, Air Europa, EL AL, Emirates Airline, Ethiopian Airlines, Middle East Airlines, and Privilege Style.