Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), the world's largest air cargo handler, is extending its North American network to Atlanta after winning the tender to operate Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport's (H-JAIA) new Cargo Building C, a key part of the airport's multi-billion dollar master plan to accommodate the future aviation needs of the region.
This move, represents the latest investment by WFS to grow its global handling capabilities. The company has recently expanded its facilities in Paris, New York JFK, Brussels, Copenhagen and Madrid which, with the addition of Atlanta, adds a further 700,000 square feet to its international operations footprint.
WFS is taking a long-term lease on the new facility, the most modern cargo terminal in Atlanta, as part of a multi-million dollar investment to bring its world class service, safety and security programmes to support the airport's strong cargo growth. In 2018, cargo volumes at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport rose 4.7% to over 700,000 tonnes, which followed a 7.5% increase in the previous year.
Mike Simpson, WFS' Executive Vice President Americas, said: "This is a really big win for WFS and for the airlines we will be working with in Atlanta. As the biggest handler in North America, present at over 60 major airports, Atlanta has been a significant gap in our network. We have been very attracted to Atlanta for some time and are excited by what we can do to support the airport's long-term growth, most notably by bringing our best-in-class global safety and security standards to the market. We applaud the City of Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for investing in the modernization of its cargo infrastructure to meet the fast-growing cargo demand in the region."
Elliott Paige, Airport Director, Air Service Development, at H-JAIA, commented: "Our goal is to offer the highest quality of handling services to attract high-value cargo onboard the more than 900,000 flight operations from Atlanta annually. With more airlines recognizing the outstanding opportunities we offer, WFS will play an important role in Atlanta's future growth by further enhancing our reputation as a first class, and safe and secure, cargo hub."
WFS will commence operations in Cargo Building C in late 2019 and will announce its launch customers shortly.
Located in the airport's South Cargo Area, the newly-constructed facility combines a 120,000 square feet warehouse and 20,000 square feet of office space and will incorporate freighter ramp handling facilities and a container bypass handling system. To support customers' premium temperature-controlled products, it will also house 2,500 square feet of dedicated cooling facilities capable of storing 140 skids plus ULD containers for handling pharmaceuticals as well as other perishables cargoes. WFS is also commencing the process to become the first cargo handling partner in Atlanta to achieve Good Distribution Practice (GDP) certification.
In line with its commitment to the highest quality, safety and security standards WFS will equip the building with its unique ePic warehouse management system to maximise its operational efficiency and will also invest in the implementation of a multi-layered security system linked directly to its centralized Security Operations Center (SOC) in North America to provide 24/7 security surveillance.