Swissport, Brussels Airport plan new pharma center

Today, Swissport announced its plans to develop a new pharmaceutical center at Brussels Airport (BRU). 

Swissport’s pharmaceutical center will provide 25,000 square meters of warehouse space, offices and 3,620 square meters of space for temperature-sensitive biopharmaceutical products. The warehouse space will include an automated Material Handling System (MHS), 50 truck loading bays, “speed gates” for air cargo and a four-story office building. Meanwhile, the space for specialized pharmaceuticals will include a 1,000 square meter cooling facility for products needing cooling between 2° to 8°C , and will more than triple Swissport’s ambient pharma space at the airport from 800 square meters to 2,620 square meters that can hold goods requiring cooling between 15° to 25°C.  t.

Swissport said it signed a long-term agreement with BRU for the space and will invest several million euros in the pharma facility, which will be housed in a new building BRU is currently constructing. No further details related to the timeline of construction and operation have yet been announced. 

The new facilities fit with Swissport’s other moves toward growth over the past few months, with expansions at hubs across Europe. The company opened a second air cargo warehouse at Vienna International Airport (VIE) in late June, and purchased the remaining shares in Heathrow Cargo Handling Ltd. (HCH) in February.  

The company’s turn towards pharma is no shock either, as carriers across the industry have built up their capacities for sensitive cargo in recent months.  

AirBridgeCargoUnited Cargo and SIA Cargo all signed leases with SkyCell for temperature-controlled containers last month. Emirates SkyCargo similarly expanded its pharma capacity in June, when it added eight stations to its pharma corridor network. FedEx Express also launched a temperature-controlled cold chain shipping solution for the Asia-Pacific region to address increased shipping demands in the health industry earlier this spring. 

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