New fresh produce facility for Nairobi airport

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A new cargo facility is due to open at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta airport next month with the capacity to store 160 temperature controlled pallets – more than four 747 freighter loads.

The opening represents completion of the first phase of the 12,000 sq m Transglobal Cargo Centre which will have a capacity of some 250,000 tonnes of air cargo a year when fully operational.

Jomo Kenyatta airport has the second highest cargo throughput in Africa, at 290,500 tonnes in 2009 and is currently served by almost 40 scheduled airlines.

The centre will be the first fresh produce and cargo handling facility in Africa to incorporate a multi-storey elevating transfer vehicle based perishables handling system. This cool-chain ETV system will have capacity for storing 160 pallets – the equivalent of more than four 747 freighter loads.

Located on JKIA’s newly-extended freight apron, TCC will cater for the airport’s growing cargo business – a substantial element of which is perishables – replacing its reliance upon off-airport cargo handling facilities, and complying with the higher security standards demanded by Nairobi JKIA’s application for FAA category 1 status.

The TCC facility will include 12,351 sq m of warehousing with 11 truck docks, 10 container workstations, a 3-level ETV system with 160 storage positions, a combined ULD weigh-scale and X-ray scanner, and six additional security scanners.

There will be roller bed access to the temperature-controlled ULD build-up area. The perishables handling area will be divided into separate temperature zones (e.g. chilled store, freezer) to cater for the varying needs of different commodities. Shippers, agents and regulatory staff will also have access to a dedicated 1,000 sq m perishables inspection and re-packing area.

TCC will additionally cater for high-value cargo, with separate import- and export strong rooms. All areas will have restricted access controlled by card readers, and the entire facility will benefit from CCTV surveillance and 24 hour guarding.

Transglobal chairman, Peter Muthoka said: “The export of perishables by air is vitally important to the Kenyan economy. It has huge further potential, but only if the industry moves with the times, and invests in facilities that ease the flow of traffic and comply with ever-stricter global security requirements.”

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