Airport logistics Siemens equips the new Emirates SkyCargo terminal in Dubai

  • Siemens implements state-of-the-art material handling system (MHS) at Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai World Central (DWC)
  • Throughput of 700,000 tons of cargo per year in the initial phase with expansion plans for additional 300,000 tons
  • In parallel, Siemens extends the Cargo Mega Terminal for Emirates at Dubai International (DXB)

Siemens Logistics and Airport Solutions has equipped the new cargo terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai World Central (DWC), with a stateof-the-art material handling system (MHS). The new home of Emirates SkyCargo’s freighter fleet was successfully started up in several phases. “Our partnership with Siemens is a testimony to our commitment to create and deliver industry-leading air cargo solutions,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo. “We develop constantly the nuances of our services and our innovative products – ensuring that we remain creative and efficient. The new MHS will not only help us meet our customers’ needs but enhance SkyCargo’s overall operational performance through providing top solutions also in niche markets.”

In its initial implementation stage, the new cargo terminal is capable to handle a throughput of 700,000 tons per year. Later on throughput capacity will increase by additional 300,000 tons. The new terminal’s total building ground area is 68,000 square meters. The MHS housed in a single leveled building is designed to maximize the terminal operational performance. This includes the optimization of cargo processes including cycle times, a cargo tracking capability, direct build-up/breakdown handling, quick transit to and from airside as well as cargo screening.

The air cargo MHS is divided into specific areas for cargo storage and handling. It consists of dedicated subsystems such as acceptance, bypass, staging and systems for transferring goods directly with only short-term storage (cross-dock systems) for inbound as well as for outbound flow. Build up and breakdown areas are equipped with fixed and flexible workstations. A multilevel storage system has a capacity of more than 800 ULD (unit load device) positions. Bulk cargo can be stored in a very narrow aisle (VNA) system in more than 3,000 positions. Direct cross dock lanes are provided to ensure quick cargo transferring from airside to landside and vice versa. Special cargo is processed and stored in a perishable area of over 16,000 square meters. This large air-conditioned area includes cold and freezer rooms as well as individual cooling units with various temperature zones.

The state-of-the-art cargo handling IT system “Cargo Compact” from Siemens Logistics and Airport Solutions controls the highly automated systems and equipment. It ensures the highest possible throughput of the freight and the shortest possible turn-around times for airplanes and trucks.

Expansion of Cargo Mega Terminal

At Emirates’ Cargo Mega Terminal (CMT) at Dubai International Airport (DXB) belly freight cargo volume (freight that is transported in the passenger planes) continues to grow rapidly. This is due to Emirates’ plans to further expand its passenger aircraft fleet. Therefore, Siemens was contracted to enhance cargo processing capacities at CMT and improve cross traffic handling between CMT and DWC. The company implemented the East Cross Dock facility at Dubai International allowing simultaneous start-up with the Emirates SkyCargo facilities at Dubai World Central.

CMT expansion is currently progressing to increase its capacities to handle 1.6 million tons per year creating further operational benefits for Emirates SkyCargo. The facility will receive an upgrade to the latest automation features and IT process solutions from Siemens Logistics and Airport Solutions followed by a further processing module to the facility.



Monica Soffritti


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