Business & Invest | Published on: 20th December 2022
Teesside Airport’s cargo handling facility has waved goodbye to its first export shipment, following more than a dozen import movements in just two weeks.
The fully accredited facility is newly up and running but has already made a name for itself as the key hub for the swift turnaround of cargo, particularly in handling urgent or last-minute goods.
Most recently, it worked with aviation services group Air Partner, a Wheels Up company, to handle its first export. Air Partner’s team in Cologne arranged the charter following an urgent request from a German freight forwarder, that required automotive parts to be quicky and efficiently flown to Stockholm for a global car manufacturer.
It comes after the facility handled 13 import consignments of automotive parts across 12 charters, all coming from Hungary, working with Air Partner and CharterSync to manage the shipments.
The movements have been overseen by the airport’s Head of Cargo, Walter Jones. Walter came to the airport following the closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport and boasts 25 years’ experience. His role is one of the first to be created at the site, with 30 good-quality jobs expected to come when it is fully operational.
The £2.5million purpose-built 21,000sq ft hangar provides cutting-edge security screening technology, as well as handling, freight-forwarding, customs clearage and storage. The facility, which has secured Regulated Agent status to handle secure cargo, can also be used for specialised charter flights for both air and road freight. Its central location means almost 95% of England, Wales and Scotland can be covered in six hours.
Forming part of the Teesside Freeport the service is a key part of the airport’s ten-year turnaround plan, alongside the £200million Southside Business Park development, to diversify its revenue streams and further secure the airport’s financial future.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “While it’s still very early days for the airport’s new cargo operations, it has already managed to turn around a number of crucial consignments in a very short space of time – leading to very satisfied customers.
“I’m massively proud of what’s been achieved so far as we continue to make the Teesside Airport about more than just flights to popular holiday destinations, and get businesses to back us as much as local people have.
“With more than 70,000 companies within an hour of the airport the opportunity for growth – even on our doorstep – is huge. As we work to boost our region’s already well-connected transport links, the sky’s the limit to what we can achieve.”
Walter Jones said: “Teesside International Airport has the capacity and functionality to fulfil the demands of a growing cargo infrastructure. With the support of companies such as Air Partner, which has now successfully taken care of inbound and export cargo flights, Teesside International Airport will grow as the UK’s most centrally located cargo hub in the UK.”
Pierre Van Der Stichele, Vice President of Global Cargo at Air Partner, said: “It was imperative that this time-critical cargo was delivered swiftly to prevent delays to the production line in Stockholm. Our communications and logistics processes offered the best solution with a Metroliner aircraft and a five-hour turnaround.
“As a key cargo partner to Teesside International Airport, we are ready to not only support its growth as a cargo hub, but also to support global automotive manufacturers and all other industries as an enabler of seamless export and inbound operations.”
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