Airport operator Fraport is strategically aligning its Frankfurt hub to capitalise on forecast growth in the air cargo business

“Given the expected growth and changing requirements [in the cargo sector], now is the right time for a comprehensive innovation and investment package. We’re developing our airport sustainably and in line with actual demand. This is why we’re launching the CargoHub Masterplan. Our aim is to position the Frankfurt CargoHub for the future – thus making a clear contribution to growth in the state of Hesse as an economic powerhouse in the heart of Germany and Europe,” announced Dr Pierre Dominique Prümm, Fraport’ s executive director for aviation and infrastructure.

Fraport’s aim is to continuously ensure Frankfurt Airport’s position as Europe’s  #1 CargoHub by freight throughput. To achieve this, the masterplan involves three key initiatives for developing the FRA location: digitisation and process innovation, space optimisation, and space development.In other words: Fraport is adopting comprehensive digitised processes in order to boost efficiency further and to facilitate straightforward, seamless, and transparent logistics. A key aspect of the transformation is the Cargo Community System, which uses data-driven dashboards and analysis to give participating companies real-time insights and smart management options. To develop the system further, Fraport and software developer DAKOSY have formed a joint venture called allivate. A roadmap has already been agreed upon with the cargo community that will accelerate the digital transformation for cargo even further. 

CargoCity South plans

Fraport plans to redesign and develop existing spaces inside CargoCity South. The plan is to swap flight-operations areas and cargo spaces to free up 43,000m2 of additional cargo space that will have a direct connection to the apron. The move will also create 20,000m2 of additional space for ground handling and special services. Under the plan, the 18 affected aircraft positions will remain available in the future, albeit under a new arrangement. Fraport is undertaking intensive discussions with the appropriate regulatory authorities about the change and will initiate the necessary zoning modification process shortly, the operator said. 

Space for logistics

Given the growing cargo volumes, Fraport also plans to expand its capacities for logistics handling in a way that matches particularly the needs of cargo. The vision is for a new LogisticsHub West that draws on sustainable, digitised, and smart infrastructure to be built on the site of the former Ticona plant on the airport’s western flank. The development is to happen in two stages: From 2028, logistics facilities are to be made available that include up to 150,000m2 of warehouse space built on a site totalling around 250,000m2. Operational facilities for other airport functions will occupy a further 35,000m2. The basis for this is the existing zoning plan. Due to its vicinity to the Northwest Runway, the location also offers the potential for a connection to the airport’s airside area. In the long-term, after 2030, there is also the option of developing the LogisticsHub West into a trimodal hub that includes road, rail, and air connections.    

Working with partners

“When developing our plans, we’re always considering the needs of our customers and partners but also those of our neighbours. We’re communicating transparently to develop the airport sustainably and in a way that works for everyone,” said Max Philipp Conrady, SVP cargo development and management at Fraport. “The guiding principle for our vision is ‘Creating the Future of Cargo Together’: that’s because the development will only work if we cooperate with everyone affected, particularly the local cargo community.”FRA handles more cargo annually than any other European cargo hub. All major companies in the global logistics industry operate from Frankfurt Airport. By working together with the cargo community, Fraport provides a full-service portfolio for the secure, rapid, and efficient handling of all types of cargo. The CargoHub masterplan is part of the Group’s overall strategy, “Fraport.2030”.

Frankfurt handles more cargo annually than any other European cargo hub
Frankfurt handles more cargo annually than any other European cargo hub Fraport