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Cargo Handling Systems

Industrieweg 2, 5731 HR MIERLO,


With air traffic predicted to grow at an average rate of 8% per year, and in some areas even up to 20%, the amount of air cargo flown around will also increase tremendously. As a result, companies involved with air cargo face growing challenges on how to organise this and how to get cargo from and to their customers safely and on time.

SACO, backed by more than 50 years of experience, offers ULD handling solutions ranging from basic systems for manual manoeuvring to fully mechanised and automated systems.

Based in Mierlo, The Netherlands, SACO designs, manufactures and supplies turnkey cargo handling equipment and systems. Due to the modular design of SACO’s units, it is easy to move, modify, extend and upgrade an existing system in phases when cargo volumes grow. Users can adjust investments to their needs.

Full after-sales support, tailor-made maintenance solutions and 24-hour service ensure a high performance standard throughout the system’s entire lifespan.

SACO’s systems have been successfully supplied and commissioned in many European countries, but also in India, Indonesia, Russia, the UAE, the US, Canada, Curaçao, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

About SACO

SACO is fully owned by and incorporated into SMA BV based in The Netherlands. SMA BV has its origin in 1966 and has evolved into an internationally oriented organisation with multiple divisions. The core activities of the company – construction, manufacturing, supply and assembly of steel and machine constructions – are sub-divided in five divisions.

SACO enjoys the advantages of having a flat organisation with short and direct communication lines, while also being able to handle large projects requiring extensive manpower and project management.

Product portfolio

SACO’s portfolio includes extensive solutions for the handling of air cargo ULD’s (pallets and containers). Ranging from conveyor decks, truck docks, dolly docks, build-up / break-down workstations, weighing systems, multi-level storage systems incorporating (elevating) transfer vehicles, to SACO’s slave pallet system to additional flexibility.

The company’s turnkey approach enables the supply of cost-effective integrated hardware and software solutions for the control and management of air cargo handling and storage systems. This can vary from a standard PLC control system to overall material handling software and management IT systems.

SACO is your turnkey supplier for a wide range of applications and investment plans. As cargo volumes grow, let your system evolve through phases with SACO’s modular equipment design.

General air cargo

Based on five decades of relevant experience, SACO has a full set of handling equipment available to configure any solution that may be required. This includes storage and conveyor decks, truck docks, dolly docks, workstations, scissor lifts, ULD hoists, (elevating) transfer vehicles ETV’s, and pallet masters / slave pallets.

Depending on the required capacity, ULD storage systems can be based on ETVs or on the lift-and-run principle incorporating multiple TV’s and hoists.

Postal and express parcel

Speed and flexibility are of the essence with Postal and Express Parcel handling. SACO has developed a reliable set of standard equipment for ULD handling dedicated for this sector.

These solutions include modular castor decks, roller decks, truck docks and integrated weighing systems.

Perishable air cargo

The handling of perishables such as flowers, fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and medicines, requires special attention.

As well as keeping the cool chain intact, or segregation and storage in independent temperature controlled conditions, handling equipment is suitable for ambient conditions and dedicated handling requirements.

Airport Cargo Handling Systems

SACO's portfolio includes extensive solutions for the handling of air cargo unit load devices (pallets and containers).

Madurai International Airport

Madurai International Airport (IXM) is located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. The airport operates domestic flights to major cities in India and international flights to Colombo, Dubai and Singapore.

Bugesera International Airport

Bugesera International Airport (BIA) is currently under construction in the Bugesera District, approximately 25km south-east of Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. It will replace the existing Kigali International Airport.

Warsaw Chopin Airport Terminal A, Warsaw

Warsaw Chopin Airport is the biggest and busiest airport in Poland. The reconstruction and modernisation of the airport's Terminal 1, now named Terminal A, was completed in May 2015.

Stockholm-Arlanda Airport

Stockholm-Arlanda airport is situated 37km north of Stockholm and 40km southeast of Uppsala in the Sigtula municipalit

Katowice International Airport, Silesia

Katowice International Airport is the third biggest airport in Poland in terms of its passenger flow. It is located in Pyrzowice, 30km away from the city of Katowice in southern Poland.

Copenhagen Airport, Denmark

Copenhagen Airport is the largest airport in Scandinavia, serving Copenhagen and the surrounding regions, being only 8km from the city centre of the town of Kastrup.

Cargo Handling Systems Newsletter

With this newsletter, we would like to update you on our activities and events around the world, including new contracts and forthcoming industry events.

DHL Builds New Brussels Hub in Belgium

In 2015 DHL started the construction of a new state-of-the-art 31,500m² express parcel sorting centre at Brussels Airport to further strengthen the position of Brussels within the European and worldwide DHL network.

TNT Increases Operations in Liège

In 2014, TNT Express Euro HUB began a major project (Liège ExtraFit - LEF), to upgrade and expand its parcel handling and sorting facilities at Liège Airport, Belgium.

DHL Express Doubles Capacity at European DHL Hub Leipzig

One of the leading international express services providers worldwide, DHL Express, will double the operational footprint of its main European hub in Leipzig, Germany to accommodate future shipment volume growth.

SACO’s First ETV System in the South Pacific

Following a period of detailed consultancy and pre-engineering, SACO signed a contract in June 2015 for the supply and installation of the first fully automated ETV system in the South Pacific.

Air Canada Cargo Opens New Cargo Terminal in Calgary (YYC)

Following the successful supply of an automated ULD system to Air Canada in Montréal, SACO was again contracted to supply a ULD system to the new cargo terminal in Calgary. The system including a pit-mounted truck dock and powered roller decks was commissioned in June 2013.

SACO Supplies ULD Equipment to KWE’S New Facility at London Heathrow

When Kintetsu World Express moved to a new warehouse near London's Heathrow Airport in January 2013, SACO supplied and installed a 20ft truck dock and a slave pallet system. The SACO Pallet Master, new generation pedestrian type and eight slave pallets enable flexible handling and storage of ULD's in the off-airport warehouse.

SACO Bags First Order for Dhaka, Bangladesh (DAC)

SACO signed a contract for the supply of an air cargo handling system to MGH Group, a logistics company based in Dhaka. This very first order from Bangladesh was delivered and commissioned August 2012 and includes a lowering workstation, castor decks and elevating truck dock, all suitable for handling 10ft main deck ULD's (pallets and containers).

SACO Supplies Cargo Handling Systems Worldwide (Russia, Greenland and Bangladesh)

Four airports in the Russian Federation have received ULD handling equipment from SACO during 2012. This includes Norilsk Airport in the most northern airport in Siberia, where SACO had previously supplied handling equipment for baggage containers Chelyabinsk and Ekaterinburg / Koltsovo Airports, both near the border between Europe and Asia, were equipped with extensive ULD handling decks and workstations in March 2012.

SACO at TIACA Air Cargo Forum in Atlanta

SACO will be exhibiting at the TIACA Air Cargo Forum in Atlanta from 2-4 October 2012. As many cargo handling professionals will be attending this event, we shall be there personally to meet you at our Booth no.739.

SACO Bags First Order for Bangladesh

SACO Airport Equipment based in Mierlo, The Netherlands, has just signed a contract for the supply of an air cargo handling system to MGH Group, a logistics company based in Dhaka.The company's very first order from Bangladesh is currently being shipped with installation and commissioning scheduled in July 2012.

Air Cargo Perishables Handling in Ethiopia

In anticipation of the growing market for the export perishables, Ethiopian Airports Enterprise built two dedicated cold store air cargo terminals in the north of the country; one at Bahir Dar Airport the other at Mek'ele Airport. Both terminals include cooling and refrigeration

Air Cargo Perishables Handling in Ghana

Accra's Kotoka International Airport will soon have a dedicated perishables air cargo terminal, mainly for the export of pineapple, mangoes, papaya, and vegetables. The terminal, financed by the Millennium Development Authority, will include cold store equipment, truck docks at land

New Cargo Terminal for WFS in Copenhagen

SACO recently commissioned new and relocated cargo handling equipment for WFS' new cargo terminal at Kastrup, Copenhagen Airport, Denmark. The scope included: A 20ft truck dock with a powered roller deck / RA-deck system, previously supplied by SACO in 2009, reloc

ULD Handling Equipment for United Airlines

As a result of a rearrangement of facilities and runways at Chicago O'Hare Airport, United Airlines is in the process of relocating their cargo handling activities to a newly constructed facility. Through Murata Machinery USA, SACO has been awarded a contract for the supply of the U

ULD Handling Equipment for Frankfurt Cargo City Süd

During recent months, SACO supplied various ULD handling equipment to Europe's largest cargo airport, including: Slave pallet system for ULS Truck dock for WFS Slave pallet system for Aviapartner

SACO Airport Equipment

Industrieweg 2, 5731 HR MIERLO