A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and Sjømatterminalen AS to operate the new Seafood Center at Oslo Airport.
The 16,000 square metre centre will handle up to 250,000 tonnes of seafood annually in a facility designed to meet industry requirements for cool chain logistics and innovation. Construction of the terminal is expected to commence in April 2019, with an opening of the terminal in 2021.
Norway stands for half of all the air cargo generated in the Nordic region. In 2017, Oslo Airport was the fastest growing cargo airport in Europe with a 36 per cent growth. Some 185,000 tonnes where flown in and out of the airport, with 90,000 being seafood.
In 2018, Norwegian seafood as air cargo is expected to reach 230,000 tonnes. Oslo Airport is the largest freighter airport in Northern Europe with 14 freighter carriers serving the gateway weekly.
Last week, Ethiopian Cargo revealed plans to start a ‘seafood freighter’ service using a Boeing 777-200 Freighter from Oslo Airport to Guangzhou in China in September this year.
Avinor Oslo Airport director of cargo, Martin Langaas (pictured) said: “We are confident in WFS experience in perishable cargo and their commitment to this project. This is a unique opportunity to define the future of cool chain logistics for seafood as air cargo.
“The Seafood Center at Oslo Airport will increase the competitiveness of Norwegian Seafood globally and industrialize the handling. With an experienced international handler as WFS, we believe Oslo Airport will increase its competitive advantage as the preferred cargo hub in Northern Europe.”
Oslo Airport executive president, Øyvind Hasaas added: “We have listened to the exporter and their needs to ensure quality and time to market. I believe the dedication from the Seafood Exporters in this project is an acknowledgement of the project itself. The Seafood center will create value for all of Norway and increase the competitiveness of Norwegian Seafood globally.”
WFS EMEAA executive vice president of cargo, John Batten said the cargo handler is “excited” to expand its network into Norway and Oslo Airport.
He added: “The seafood industry is a unique opportunity for us to share our experience and excellence in air cargo handling. We look forward to open a dedicated facility at Oslo Airport that is fully adapted to the future needs of the seafood industry.
“Our terminal will be a game changer in the handling of seafood as air cargo and be an important part of ensuring the future growth of one of Norway’s most important industries.”