Cargo logistics firm Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has begun construction on its new cargo handling terminal at the Spanish capital’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport.

The terminal, WFS’s fifth in Madrid, is expected to open for operations in Q1 2024. The firm has signed a 30-year lease on the 6,500m2 building.

Key to the new site is its temperature-controlled cool rooms for pharma and perishable shipments, to be managed at between 2-8°C and 15-25°C respectively.

17 landside truck docks will be linked to airside operations by a mechanised handling system, along with 20-foot ULD [unit load device] handling capabilities, and a secured refrigerated cargo acceptance area.

WFS said the new terminal will be powered by 100% renewable energy, via solar panels located on the roof of the facility.

Humberto Castro, managing director of WFS in Spain, explained the choice to expand operations in central Spain: “Madrid is such a strategically important cargo market as a hub for Central and South America to and from the EU and connecting the Middle and Far East markets.

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“This new cargo terminal will help to future-proof WFS’ service offering by increasing our handling capacity by 60% for our current and future airline customers. This will enable us to accommodate strong organic growth and support the significant increase of inbound e-commerce traffic from China.”

WFS built its first facility at Madrid’s airport in 2001, and has expanded twice previously in 2018 and 2019.