Air Cargo Management

IAG Cargo hails milestone as it opens new cargo handling facility at Heathrow

IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG), has officially opened cargo handling facility New Premia at key international hub London Heathrow.

New Premia will serve as the operator’s new home for handling premium loose shipments, enabling double the amount of cargo to be managed daily.

To accommodate this increase in cargo handling capacity, bespoke IT systems and systems integration have been developed to regulate freight movements and allocations inside the facility.

David Shepherd, IAG Cargo’s chief executive, said: “The opening of New Premia is a pivotal milestone for IAG Cargo – the benefits it will bring both to our customers and our operational teams is huge.

“We strive to provide the best service for our customers and the investment into our IT systems will improve our operational performance, optimising the movement of cargo to support global trade.”

The facility has been designed to handle more cargo for customers as efficiently as possible, with 11 new landside doors, meaning even faster engagement for drivers to collect or drop off cargo.

The temperature-controlled building includes a state-of-the-art Constant Climate Quality Centre (CCQC) for pharmaceuticals, with 29 dedicated cool cells and temperature facilities available from +2°C to +8°C (COL), +15°C to +25°C (CRT) and -20°C (FRO) ensuring sensitive shipments are held in a temperature-controlled environment at all times.

Additionally, the +15°C to +25°C (CRT) chamber includes two dedicated break and build workstations. The new facility is certified under IAG Cargo’s Good Distribution Practice (GDP) WDA licence issued by the UK Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency.

Operationally, four large ‘transfer vehicles’ have been introduced to service the 20 new workstations.

These vehicles pass through rapid-rise doors allowing cargo to be moved autonomously through the facility and into storage in advance of collection and delivery to the aircraft for exports and similarly the process works in reverse for imports.

This process uses ground-breaking technology as the system is fully integrated with IAG Cargo’s existing Warehouse Management System – which is the first time globally that this integration has been delivered.

IAG Cargo staff have received targeted training over the last 18 months and this training continues as normal operations take place at the facility.

New roles have also been created such as six new planning managers, who work closely with the operations duty manager and are fundamental in delivering the day-to-day operations.

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