Sheremetyevo and Moscow Cargo: new prospects for Chinese airlines, importers

Moscow Cargo Air cargo import shipments from China to SVO soared by more than 40 per cent, while exports saw a 20 per cent increase (Sheremetyevo)

Russia’s largest airport, Moscow’s Sheremetyevo (SVO), and Moscow Cargo, held a joint cargo complex presentation with their Chinese partners as part of a strategy to spur the further development of Russian-Chinese air transport cooperation. The importance of the event was underscored by the support and presence of Russia’s ministry of industry and trade.

During the visit to Sheremetyevo’s modern Moscow Cargo complex, the guests –which included representatives from the China Council for the Support of International Trade and the China Chamber of International Commerce in Russia, as well as top managers from Chinese airlines and leading importers – were introduced to the technical capacity of the recently-built terminal and given a demonstration of its automated cargo handling and storage systems.

“We managed to achieve outstanding results in the development of [our] international cooperation thanks to Sheremetyevo airport’s efficient, long-term planning and large-scale investment programme. We understand the needs of airlines and are ready to meet them in full,” stressed Andrey Nikulin, first deputy general director of Sheremetyevo International Airport, in his speech.

“One of the greatest advantages of our terminal is the availability of areas for express cargo handling. Today, speed is the main requirement that the customers set. Speed provides a competitive edge,” Mikhail Chuvilkin, first deputy general director and director for production at Moscow Cargo, pointed out in a statement.

China has become a significant strategic partner for Russia. In 2018, trade turnover between Russia and China increased by 28 per cent, beating a record-high US$100 billion. Russia ranks first among China’s 10 largest trade partners in terms of trade turnover growth.

The new cargo terminal at Sheremetyevo is designed to satisfy growing market demand and offers an advanced high quality infrastructure for China-destined cargo and mail, claims the airport. “The terminal was built drawing on the experience of global industry leaders and the use of automated cargo storage and handling systems enabled us to reduce cargo handling and packaging time, make tracking transparent, and expand the area of IT interaction with customers and airlines. Factoring in the high growth rates of cargo turnover, the completion of the second stage of the cargo terminal is scheduled for 2022,” the airport’s statement adds.

Sheremetyevo, which is the only airport in Europe to service eight Chinese airlines, offers a route network of connections between Russia and China comprising 19 destinations. In 2018, passenger traffic between SVO and Chinese airports exceeded 2.36 million people, a 14 per cent increase on the 2017 figures. Air cargo import shipments from China to Sheremetyevo soared by more than 40 per cent, while exports saw a 20 per cent increase. SVO has a strong lead in the market of big Moscow’s airports, with a share of 47.12 per cent for passengers and 62.79 per cent for cargo, according to last year’s results.

The advanced and planned new infrastructure at this Moscow airport is creating all the right conditions for Chinese airlines and importers to expand their long-term presence in the Russian market because of the airport’s efficient cargo hub operations.

Sheremetyevo International Airport is a top-10 hub airport in Europe and the largest in Russia in terms of a number of criteria, including passenger and cargo traffic, the number of take-offs and landings, the total area of terminals, and the capacity of its cargo facilities. In 2018, Sheremetyevo served 45.8 million passengers, a 14.3 per cent increase on 2017.

Moscow Cargo

Moscow Cargo’s SVO complex is the largest air cargo terminal in Russia. With an area of 42,300 sq m, its capacity is 380,000 tonnes per year and it is equipped with Lödige’s celebrated automated cargo storage and handling system, an installation that is otherwise unique in Russia. The terminal also contains two unique areas for container and bulk storage of cargo, with a single automated control system and can also handle hazardous shipments of all classes, including radioactive materials.

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