In 2017 Brussels Airport handled 535,634 tons of cargo, a growth of 8.3% compared to 2016 and the highest volume in the last 10 years. All segments recorded growth last year, but belly cargo in particular has shown a sharp recovery compared to 2016 (+13.8%). Integrator services also enjoyed a strong growth last year of 9.7% compared to 2016.
The full-cargo segment showed a slight increase (+3.0%) thanks to an excellent first quarter and good volumes in November and December. “This 3% growth follows an increase of almost 15% last year compared to 2015. So despite some noise issues we had in Q2 resulting in a few airlines leaving the airport, we are very pleased to see that growth picked up again by the end of the year still resulting in an overall growth in this segment”, says Steven Polmans, Head of Cargo and Logistics at Brussels Airport.
When looking more in detail, especially export volumes drove this growth with an increase of almost 16%. “We have seen a remarkable increase in our volumes to especially the Far East and South America, supported by a strong performance of the European and Belgian economy”, continuous Steven.
Another impressive figure is the growth in pharmaceuticals at the airport. Last year, Brussels Airport recorded an increase of 18% in the transportation of flown pharmaceutical products compared to 2016. This sharp rise confirms the leading position of Brussels Airport as transport specialist for pharmaceutical products.
Looking forward to 2018, Brussels Airport management is expecting cargo volumes to continue performing strong in all segments. Later this year, Cathay Pacific will start A350 operations to Brussels and only late 2017, Hainan Airlines started a B787 flight from Shanghai. Also Emirates introduced a second daily B777 flight. DHL Express moved to a new state of the art facility in August 2017, resulting in strong growth figures as of that month. As far as full cargo is concerned, Amerijet already announced a direct Miami to Brussels rotation, connecting their Central American network with Brussels.
To cope with this continuous and strong growth, Brussels Airport will further strengthen its cargo team as well as make considerable investments in its cargo area, BRUcargo. The airport will further introduce an additional handling agent later this year, after conclusion of the ongoing tender process.