Connect with us google icon FB icon  twittericon
air cargo banner
Exhibitions & Conferences   Trade Associations/Organizations   Contributors   Newsletters Industry Verticals  

Business Intelligence banner

Brussels Airport - A heart for your cargo

- Brussels Airport

Brussel menu img

From fast, reliable handling of perishables to secure, punctual transportation of pharmaceuticals and general cargo … Brussels Airport’s expertise, infrastructure and location make it your ideal partner for cargo.

Being the world’s first CEIV pharma certified cargo community, you have a choice of CEIV pharma certified partners and regulator approved partners at BRUcargo for fast, safe and secure handling of your pharmaceuticals. Besides pharmaceuticals, Belgium is well known for its large share of worldwide export and import of perishables and automotive. That’s why the logistics service providers at Brussels Airport provide specialized services for niche market handling such as valuables, live animals, perishables, general cargo, time sensitive goods and outsized cargo.

Brussels Airport will always continue to invest in innovation and training, thus offering a unique mix of transport solutions in collaboration with more than 100 full freighter and passenger airlines. What is more, Brussels Airport’s efficient and personal customer service is second to none, guaranteeing constant quality care for your cargo.

yellow square Central location and long haul connectivity
Brussels Airport is centrally located in the most important economic area of Europe, where 60% of European GDP is generated. Next to the existing operation of our Full Freighter airlines, Brussels Airport has known a fast growth in terms of long haul flights, resulting in additional direct connections in our network.

Located at the crossroads of Europe, Brussels Airport offers fast connections with other major airports and direct access to a dense, toll-free road network.

Brussel map img

Back to top

yellow square Major Full-Freight and distribution hub

Besides being an important hub for full freighters at the most strategic location in Europe, ideal for storage, handling and shipping of high value and time sensitive products and connecting Belgium to the rest of the world (200 nonstop destinations), Brussels Airport also provides a state-of-the-art infrastructure and has all competences allowing it to maintain the cold chain for all perishables, but also and foremost for biotech and pharmaceutical products.

Back to top

yellow square A trustworthy operation base

Brussels Airport is characterized by a proven coordinated approach between all involved partners, resulting in an efficient inbound and outbound cargo process.

At Brussels Airport the handling companies provide specialized services for niche market handling: General Cargo, Perishables, Pharmaceuticals, Outsized Cargo, Live Animals, Valuables and Time Sensitive Goods. Together with its partners, Brussels Airport provides high quality infrastructure and processes for these key markets, such as temperature controlled warehouses and GDP compliant procedures.

Brussels img2

Back to top

yellow square BRUcargo today

• 130 ha of land
• 120.000 m˛ of dedicated cargo apron, with 12 aircraft stands
• Central office building
• Multiple perishables centres
• Temperature controlled pharma warehouses
• 95.000 m˛ warehouses with direct ramp access
• 180.000 m˛ offline warehouses
• Direct access to highway system

yellow square Cargo Friendly Airport

Brussels Airport has a dedicated area for cargo providing:

• A preferred location for 3PL and 4PL providers
• Over 100 forwarders are present on site
• Many international trucking & courier companies
• Secured logistical area
• Efficient handling
• Independent warehouse handlers
• Customs flexibility 24/24h – 7/7d
• Unbroken, reliable cold chain

Back to top

yellow square International pharma certification

The pharmaceutical and biotech industry is in full expansion around the globe (+8% between 2007 and 2013), and Belgium is ranking at the top with 150 companies active in the industry in the three regions. The manufacturers have high expectations and specific requirements with regard to maintaining the quality of the products and the properties of the active ingredients throughout the logistics chain. They call on transportation services that, on the one hand ensure the shortest route to the final customer and, on the other hand maintain the quality of the product through an unbroken cold chain. For these companies, transport by air remains the best possible solution.

CEIV Brussels Airport stands out internationally for its dedicated infrastructure for the transport and handling of products that require an unbroken cold chain, in particular pharmaceutical and biotech products. Where until now, on an international level, air transport was not subject to any certification acknowledging the reliability for the transport of pharmaceutical products, Brussels Airport was the first airport in the world where stakeholders of the cargo community in a joint approach received the CEIV Pharma certification.

Currently 11 companies active at BRUcargo, the cargo site of the airport, are participating in the program. 5 of them obtained their certificate by the end of January 2015, the others will follow in the coming weeks and months.

brussel map

“This acknowledgement allows Brussels Airport and its cargo community stakeholders to consolidate its prominent position in the world and to confirm its level of competence as leading transport hub in Europe”, says Arnaud Feist, CEO Brussels Airport Company.

Brussels airport

The certification project put into place for all parties that require an unbroken cold chain, has been an initiative of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), together with Brussels Airport and in collaboration with the competent agencies and the members of the industry concerned.

The major pharma shippers have formally validated the program, and the Belgian regulator, the federal agency for medicines and health products (famhp/fagg/afmps), is endorsing the IATA CEIV program. It has been involved in the BRUcargo community certification from the start of the program. Famhp inspectors have also participated in the training sessions and workshops.

brussel airport

Brussels airport Josiane Van der Elst, Director General DG Inspection famhp says “Although this type of IATA certification is not an authority-issued regulatory document, initiatives of structured control on transport are important and welcomed by famhp DG INSPECTION. The IATA certification gives more confidence that pharmaceutical air freight shipments are handled in accordance with EU GDP guidelines”.

Back to top

yellow square Brussels Airport, preferred European pharma gateway

Brussels Airport is the preferred European pharma gateway.

Brussels Airport's cargo community specializes in the handling of time and temperature sensitive goods. Investments by our community members in GDP licensed or compliant pharma warehouses have continued over the past years, resulting in the biggest concentration of temperature controlled airport facilities in Europe.

Short transit times

The freighter aircraft is parked behind the cargo handling facilities, resulting in very short transit times from the cargo aircraft via the warehouse to the truck (and vice versa).

The logistical partners at the airport – forwarding agents, handling agents and airlines – offer efficient and dedicated pharma procedures allowing an integrated cool chain.

Brussels Airport is at the forefront when it comes to innovation in the handling of pharmaceuticals, with projects on live GPRS tracking of shipments, and GDP certification of the entire supply chain.

brussel airport

European life sciences cluster

Brussels Airport is located in the middle of one of Europe’s strongest pharma clusters. This represents an opportunity for the air freight community to innovate in the handling of life science products, creating a preferred European pharma gateway at Brussels Airport.

Bringing the community together

Brussels Airport actively supports the development of pharma handling, among others the Cargo team is involved in the Cool Chain Association and the IATA Time & Temperature Task Force in order to develop regulations and awareness.
Back to top

yellow square Developing and implementing standards

Brussels Airport actively supports the development of pharma handling, among others with the involvement of its Cargo team in the Cool Chain Association and the IATA Time & Temperature Task Force, in order to develop regulations and awareness. To secure its preferential position as pharma hub in the world, Brussels Airport will continue to invest in this niche market. Brussels Airport has invited the BRUcargo community to start up a second wave of the CEIV pharma certification program and is investigating the possibilities to bring the unbroken cool chain to the next level, at every step in the process, with temperature controlled transport on airside.

Back to top

yellow square Airside Pharma Transporter at Brussels Airport is a European first

An innovation confirming Brussels as European pharma hub

This new transport equipment allows the weakest link in the transport process of drugs to be eliminated, because the transport regulations for pharmaceuticals and the cold chain are generally very strict. A too high fluctuation in storage temperature can ensure that the drugs should not be used, with large losses as a consequence. The "Airside Pharma Transporter" provides an answer.

It is a transport trailer pre-conditioned at the correct temperature in order to hold pharmaceutical shipments within the correct temperature limits during transportation between warehouses and aircraft at an affordable cost.

This is crucial because an incorrect temperature can cause rejection of medicines.

Until today the period on the tarmac was considered the most hazardous link in the transportation process.

Within the Flanders Pharma Hub Project, the local freight partners were brought together by Brussels Airport to realize innovations for an improved treatment of pharmaceutical products. This cluster included handling agents, airlines, forwarding agents, truckers, knowledge centers and an engineering and production company (S.P.S).

Brussels img

European scoop

The active version of the Airside Pharma Transporter is a first, because it ensures that the inside temperature is always and automatically pre-conditioned at the correct temperature.

This eliminates the need for the handling agents to condition the transport vehicle and results in quicker cycle times between different transports.

Despite the higher investment cost, the active version of the Airside Pharma Transporter allows us to offer considerably more availability of conditioned transport options at BRU.

Given the high demand on peak hours, we can now add an extra available slot for airlines or forwarders to book. This is a clear economic benefit compared to the passive version that was already in use.

The Airside Pharma Transporter uses a new type of cooling technology and relies on solar power technology to operate autonomously for several days. This allows for an energy neutral temperature controlled transport of the temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical shipments at Brussels Airport.

Continuous co-operation with pharmaceutical manufacturers

Brussels Airport commits to an ongoing dialogue with the shippers of pharmaceutical products in order to know their needs and specific expectations for air transport. The Airside Transport Pharma Project is an excellent example of an innovation aimed at solving a priority issue indicated by the shippers. Pharmaceutical manufacturers were actively involved in defining the performance requirements for the engineering and the test protocol for the temperature mapping of the airside transport solution.


Several forwarders and airlines are setting up new commercial services for controlled temperature transport, using the Airside Pharma Transporters. Initially Brussels Airport will rent out 4 vehicles via an innovative booking tool based in the BRUcargo cloud. In this respect the airport operator is facilitating its local stakeholders to develop new commercial services. As a result the entire BRUcargo community will benefit, the handling of pharmaceutical products will improve and Brussels Airport will confirm its position as the preferred European pharma gateway.

  Brussels Airport logo

© 2011 - 2015 American Friendship World Air Cargo Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

central location major hub trustworthy tab BRU benefits int certification european pharma dev standards