London Heathrow to gain perishables handling centre in 2018

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
Aerial view of London's Heathrow airport
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A new airside perishables centre is set to open at Heathrow airport on Sandringham Road next year.

The new 25,000 square foot centre is being developed by Matthew Rye and Gav Singh of Airport Perishables Handling (APH) and operations are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2018.

The secure, temperature-controlled facility will be designed to handle export, import and transhipment perishable cargo. “This will be further enhanced by ramp delivery and collection services with final mile delivery allowing APH to offer a one stop shop solution,” said Rye.

The location of the facility, on Sandringham Road on the southern perimeter of the airport, is hoped to make products available quicker for the freight forwarder, therefore helping to reduce food waste in the supply chain.

“We will be looking to deliver to the local importing agents within 90 to 120 minutes of produce arriving at our back door with temperature integrity maintained whilst product is in our care and control both in the facility and on our fleet,” Rye explained, noting that the service would be cost neutral because of the time savings and reduction in waste it would offer.

“Using our-pay-as-you-go delivery service will allow agents to better utilise own vehicles for onward distribution and avoid (or reduce) use of sub-contractors, and there will be other tangible benefits such as a reduction in driver non-productive time,” he went on to say.

Rye explained that APH spent time in discussions with the importing agents and cargo airlines to understand their challenges and constraints at the airport. “They are all seeking a fit for purpose perishable handling solution,” he said, adding that certain exporters from the US currently avoid Heathrow during certain seasons, preferring to truck in from Amsterdam to avoid the cost, collection delays and lack of temperature control at Heathrow airport.

Heathrow’s Head of Cargo, Nick Platts, said: “The opening of a dedicated perishable handling facility at Heathrow is fantastic news and will provide UK trade with the opportunity to grow. Heathrow called for a dedicated perishable centre in its 2015 Cargo Strategy so it’s great to see this facility coming online.”

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