Addressing the BCC International Trade Conference today (3rd November 2015), Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, outlined the airport’s cargo blueprint with UK exporters set to benefit from the doubling of cargo volumes at the UK’s biggest port for goods by value.
Faster and more efficient cargo movements are vital in improving the UK’s export competitiveness and maximising economic benefits. As Britain’s global gateway, Heathrow connects British exporters to global markets and makes it easier for investors to come to the UK. With four out of five of all long haul flights coming from Heathrow, the airport is critical to the UK’s position as a hub for international trade.
The blueprint plans were developed with key stakeholders as part of a 15 year vision to invest around £180million in revolutionising its cargo facilities, processes and people.
The blueprint includes proposals for a specialist pharmaceutical storage area – to support airlines to move highly valuable and temperature sensitive medicines – as well as better infrastructure to reduce congestion and smoother processes, all enabling freight to flow better through the airport and halving process time from 8-9 hours, to four hours.
Freight forwarders using Heathrow will also benefit from:
Air to air transit – a facility located on the airfield which will enable smoother handling of transit cargo that arrives by air and is due to fly out by air. This will shorten connection times from a current average of 6+ hours.
Becoming 100% ‘e-freight ready’ – working with businesses, airlines, IATA, HMRC and the DfT to fully implement e-Freight at Heathrow. This reduces the need for lengthy paper work and will be one of the first airports to become 100% digital.
A new truck parking facility – a waiting area for drivers which will cater for over 100 vehicles and offer secure parking, access control, toilets/showers and dining facilities.
Heathrow has developed its vision to overhaul the cargo facilities after working closely with stakeholders including freight forwarders, Government, exporters and British businesses, forming an ambition to become one of the leading European airports for cargo. These improvements will also encourage airlines to bring cargo friendly aircraft with greater freight capacity to Heathrow, which are typically more modern, greener and quieter.
“Cargo is essential for UK PLC and Heathrow is its global freight connector, with 26% of all UK goods by value going through the airport. This investment plan will significantly improve our cargo facilities and support British businesses to keep the economy moving, connecting exporters to the world and helping the government reach its £1 trillion export target by 2020.” – Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye