Europe’s most Advanced Air Cargo Handling Centre to be Built at Riga Airport

posted on 11th November 2019 by Eddie Saunders
Europe's most Advanced Air Cargo Handling Centre to be Built at Riga Airport

By signing cooperation agreements between Riga Airport, logistics company DHL Latvia and real estate development company Castor Construction, on Wednesday, 6 November, the first step was taken to build one of the most modern shipment processing and logistics centres in Europe.

The agreement provides that a regional DHL shipment processing and logistics centre with an area of 4 500 square metres will be built at Riga Airport within a year. DHL Express will move to the new terminal at Riga Airport and will have a new sorting facility that will allow for more efficient shipment handling, thus ensuring faster and more convenient delivery of shipments to customers. As part of its efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, energy-efficient solutions are planned at the new terminal, including the company’s intention to supplement its fleet with electric vehicles.

Ilona Līce, Riga Airport Chairperson of the Board: “The new DHL cargo logistics centre will ensure a stable long-term air cargo flow at Riga Airport. Considering the rapidly changing dynamics of air cargo shipments, the main and decisive role in attracting and developing the international cargo logistics solution at Riga Airport is the development of low-cost infrastructure, high quality of services, clear and simple customs procedures, and added value that based on innovations can be created by cargo companies and regulatory authorities. The main task of the Airport is to provide an appropriate infrastructure and a favourable platform for cooperation, which will facilitate the entry of new cargo carriers and increase the turnover of air cargo.”

Tālis Linkaits, Minister of Transport of Latvia: “DHL’s choice to build its regional cargo logistics centre in Riga is an evidence to the high competitiveness of our Airport and our ability to attract leading international logistics players.”

Krists Ezeriņš, Operations Director at DHL Latvia: “It is expected to invest 12 million euros in the facility. E-commercialization of the economy and logistics are interlinked and we take this into account when investing in an automated sorting line that will optimize and speed up the sorting process. The agreement with the investor for the lease of the terminal has been concluded for a period of 10 years, with an option to extend it to 15-20 years. This is an important year for DHL, we just celebrated the 50th anniversary of DHL’s founding and 25 years of its operations in Latvia. The company continues to grow and a new, efficient, modern work environment is a great gift that will benefit both our employees and customers.”

Līce reminds that as the aerodrome infrastructure at Riga Airport continues to develop, a new cargo apron will be completed in the near future, which will allow Riga Airport to double its cargo handling capacity and make Riga Airport more attractive to air cargo carriers from all over the world. The new apron will feature three large-fuselage aircraft piers with a flexible layout that will allow accommodating all types of cargo aircraft. Thus, together with the new DHL shipment processing centre and the planned multifunctional logistics centre, the Airport will have state-of-the-art cargo handling infrastructure, allowing Riga Airport to fully participate in the global air cargo market.

Currently, the volume of air cargo transportation in Latvia consists of four business lines: export and import of high value-added goods, mail and e-commerce, transit air cargo handling and non-military cargo transit to Afghanistan for the needs of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

As already reported before, in 2018 the volume of cargo handled at Riga Airport increased by 10.4%, exceeding 27 thousand tonnes. During the first nine months of this year, Riga Airport has handled almost 20 thousand tonnes of air cargo – half of the entire air cargo volume in the Baltics.