Nordic Cool meets Cargo
Klaus Dengler, Managing Director Europoles Suisse GmbH), René Vuillemin, (Managing Director Europoles Suisse GmbH)
In December 2017 Lödige Industries handed over Europe’s most modern air cargo terminal to its client Finnair. With more than 15million metric tons annual throughput in cargo systems built or maintained by Lödige Industries, the company, headquartered in Germany, is the global market leader for air cargo logistics.
Lighting for the World’s Transport Hubs
The new 37,000 square meter facility in Helsinki was built with the intention of raising Finnair’s total cargo capacity to 350,000t of airfreight per year. The state-of-the-art terminal, with special cargo handling areas for pharmaceutical and life science products as well as perishable goods including fish and seafood is Finnair’s response to the growing air cargo volumes passing through Helsinki. Increasing cargo demand from and to Asia and the growing need for strictly temperature controlled air cargo made for a challenging scope of supply for the new terminal. Finnair was the first airline to receive IATA’s CEIV pharma certification.
Lödige relished the challenge and made full use of its 70 years of experience in material handling to provide a complete turn-key solution, starting with the planning, engineering and manufacturing and including installation, commissioning and warehouse management software of the whole material handling system.
The automated storage and retrieval system built by Lödige Industries can store more than 2000 in-house pallets over 5 levels.
Smooth Non-Stop Operations
The new terminal now has five landside truck docks, with one each set aside for the pharma and perishables areas. These, along with other equipment in these areas are fully galvanised to comply with the requirements of the IATA CEIV pharma certification. Apart from Finnair’s Cool Nordic hub, Lödige has similarly provided chill room equipment and monitoring at a number of other air cargo projects around the world.
The Cool Nordic hub has a storage facility for more than 580 ULDs, stored on four levels and utilising 2 ETVs in one aisle. The ETVs can handle Aircraft Unit Load Devices (ULDs) up to 15ft length. A special bridging functionality also allows the handling of 20ft units. Finnair staff uses 13 elevating workstations for ULD build-up and break-down. While the large majority of these handles standard 10ft ULDs and up to 6.8t, two have a larger capacity for 20ft ULDs and up to 13.6t. 24 airside dolly docks ensure goods are quickly and efficiently transported to the waiting aircraft. Manual handling of ULDs inside the terminal is easily done using six Lödige slave pallet movers.
The automated storage and retrieval system built by Lödige Industries can store more than 2000 in-house pallets over 5 levels. These are Lödige’s proprietary product, replacing the classic wood or steel material with x-rayable composite material. Two integrated x-ray machines for cargo scanning allow only safe goods to enter the facility. 11 stacker cranes operate in 11 aisles with a height of up to 12m to store pallets. A sophisticated airside conveyor loop system and 3 shuttle/transfer vehicles (TVs) at the landside acceptance area ensure none of the 19 fork lift interfaces are blocked enabling high availability and throughput rates.
The Lödige Cargo Pallets, a proprietary product, replace the classic wood or steel material with x-rayable composite material.
From Lighting Carrier to Multi-Functional System
Once the hardware was agreed, Lödige Industries focused on building the most modern state-of –the-art warehouse management system, to integrate it effectively with Finnair’s Cargo Management System. Lödige’s ‘Cargo Professional’ was the result - and its successful integration now leads to a single image of freight locations within the warehouse, enabling a single shared primary user interface between the two systems and utilising Lödige’s most recent upgrade of user interface and dashboard. On the apron side, messages passed between Cargo Professional and the Apron Management System serve to increase dolly dock throughput by ensuring drivers are immediately tasked to collect ULDs from the docks and directed to in-feed ULDs in the optimum locations. This also makes for a seamless handover and provides full freight tracking between the systems right up to aircraft side.
Storage location is selected by the system with a view to optimise the retrieval journey, both in terms of minimum distance and maximum parallel movement. Equipment can be configured to prioritise key time critical business flows. Airside presentation intelligently splits the available dock capacity between multiple flights, maximising throughput.
Lödige provided a complete turn-key solution, starting with engineering, planning and manufacturing, installation, commissioning, warehouse management software of the whole material handling system and maintenance.
Economic Lowerable Lighting Systems
On the landside, the systems integration allows pre-announced trucks to enter via self-service and get directly from roadside to dock, while the integrated gate control means only authorised trucks can gain access. The system also enables a full SLA measurement and analysis, which can be shared with customers to report achieved engagement times. Lödige’s Cargo Professional leverages data to facilitate workflow management and planning. In-field displays provide instant feedback of progress against plan, both to operators and managers, which means teams work more effectively together to achieve targets.
A configurable alerts system generates emails and SMS to trigger a real-time response and improve performance against SLAs and a full analysis suite supports business reporting, process improvement and equipment optimisation.
Initial availability rates and throughput data at Cool Nordic Cargo Hub are extremely encouraging. Cool Nordic Cargo Hub with its many innovations will remain one to watch for some time to come.