Swissport has extended and upgraded its cargo centre at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO).

The renovated facility now boasts a new 750m2 interconnected cold storeroom with direct access from the perishable’s hub to the airside.

The new cold storeroom can hold up to 110 aircraft pallets, which is equivalent to a load that fits on just over three B747 freighters. It is equipped with a flatbed with a ball-mat roller for easy manoeuvring of shipments in the warehouse. Four of the six cold storerooms are dedicated to perishable cargo (+2 to +8°C), Swissport said, while the remaining two are assigned to pharmaceuticals (+15 to +20°C and +2 to +8°C).

Last year Swissport in Kenya handled 55,000 tons of cargo, of which about 44,000 tons were perishable cargo exported from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO). Three-quarters

handled perishables were fresh cut flowers exported to Europe via Swissport’s Fresh Cut Flowers Corridor, a door-to-door supply chain and initiative involving all stakeholders, from farmers in Kenyan Highlands to forwarders and airlines.

“The Swissport team is very experienced in handling fresh cut flowers – a product that requires a significantly different type of freight built up due to the nature of such produce and the required packaging,” said Racheal Ndegwa, managing director Swissport Kenya. “Our expertise enables us to maximise the weight, which in turn allows us to realise savings for our clients and ensure the product's quality.”


Minimising temperature changes

Swissport also installed a vacuum cooler for handling temperature-sensitive cargo. With the ability to cool down two main deck pallets from a starting temperature of 24°C to 2°C in 22 minutes, the vacuum cooler will further shorten handling times and mitigate the risk of temperature impact on sensitive cargo.

“Since the launch of our Fresh Cut Flowers Corridor, Swissport in Kenya has been working on perfecting the cool chain solution to deliver a top-quality service which protects the integrity of delicate flowers and maximises the returns for our clients,” said Dirk Goovaerts, CEO Swissport CEMEA, and Global Cargo Chair. “Swissport has innovation built into its DNA. The recent upgrades to our air cargo facilities and the refined handling process are significant steps but we will continue to further enhance our solutions.”

Image: Swissport Kenya