Africa’s largest cool-chain handling facility on track

By: | at 08:00 PM | Air Cargo  

The largest cargo handling facility at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is on schedule to complete its first phase in July 2010, when it will commence handling of both import and export traffic.

The brand new Transglobal Cargo Centre (TCC) will be the first fresh produce and cargo handling facility in Africa to incorporate a multi-storey ETV (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 .

The final completion of the giant TCC fresh produce and cargo handling facility, including commissioning of its cool-chain ETV system, will enable it to accept export perishables traffic. It will also mark the end of a one and half-year building program, representing an investment of ‘11 million to provide a state-of-the-art handling facility with direct airside access.

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.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has the second highest cargo throughput in Africa, at’ 290,500 tons in 2009 (up 5% on the previous year). The airport is currently served by almost 40 scheduled airlines. TCC will have an estimated cargo handling capacity of 250,000 tons per annum.

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.

The TCC warehouse adjoins a state-of-the-art, 5,150 sq m three-storey office building which will house the company’s own staff, and provide accommodation for airlines and freight agents requiring on-site offices. In addition, there will be three bank offices on site to cater for cash transactions such as payment of duties. The facility will have a 150-space, three-floor car park, 1300 KVA full emergency backup power generation, its own water borehole and a dedicated water storage and pumped supply system.

Transglobal Cargo Centre Ltd has provided handling for airlines in Nairobi since 2007, through its off-airport facility. The company’ s Chairman, Peter Muthoka E.B.S., explains: ‘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.

‘The new Transglobal Cargo Centre is the product of extensive talks with the airline and forwarder sectors, to establish and satisfy their true handling needs. We are also enjoying tremendous support from the Airport Authority here, which sees our investment as a major assistance in its drive to increase the role of the airport as a trade development tool.’

He concludes: ‘Transglobal Cargo Centre is certainly a major commitment for my group, but we are confident that this facility will rapidly become the handling operation of choice for those carriers wishing to share in the potential of perishables traffic from Kenya, by providing their customers with a reliable and fully-


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