- Kuehne + Nagel secured a six-year logistics partnership with Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport (BHM) in Alabama to tap into the southeastern U.S. cargo market.
- The agreement seeks to serve automotive, aviation and pharmaceutical industries through additional cargo capacity, temperature-controlled cargo space and more, according to a Feb. 21 release from the forwarder. Operations at the airport are set to begin April 2.
- “By being the first logistics partner at BHM, we will be able to help our customers get their cargo to its final destination more quickly, affordably and reliably by avoiding the bottlenecks at larger airports,” Greg Martin, senior vice president of air logistics, said.
Last year, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport signed off on a $25 million air cargo facility with plans to break ground on the project in May, according to the release.
Kuehne + Nagel will first operate from Kaiser Aircraft Industries’ hangar before moving into the new facility. Construction is expected to take roughly 10 months to complete, according to the release.
“The recent enhancements we’ve made to the infrastructure of the airfield, plans for a new Air Cargo facility, combined with this partnership with one of the leading logistics companies is getting us closer to realizing a long-term vision of expanding air cargo business in the region,” Darlene Wilson, chair of the Birmingham Airport Authority, said in a statement.
Kuehne + Nagel will begin operating weekly international cargo flights between Stuttgart, Germany (STR) and BHM in April using its own 747-8F aircraft, an airport spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive in an email.
Supply chain disruptions have sparked new cargo opportunities for regional airports in the U.S. as shippers and forwarders continue to opt for alternative airports to avoid bottlenecks and backlog at larger air hubs.
“BHM is open for business 24 hours a day,” the spokesperson said. “There’s nothing to restrict freight forwarders from getting in, unloaded, and goods off the ramp within a time frame that works for them and their customers. With no restrictions on operating hours and no congestion, there’s simply no waiting required.”
Growing manufacturing activity in the U.S. has also prompted the need for cargo investments among regional airports. Capital Region International Airport (LAN) in Lansing, Michigan, last year announced plans to increase its cargo ramp space by 63% to serve the region’s rising airfreight needs such as e-commerce and medtech, LAN President and Chief Executive Nicole Noll-Williams told Supply Chain Dive in an email.
“We’re seeing a lot of manufacturing and industrial development in the area — both with GM building a battery plant and investing millions in the region, as well as Amazon building a large warehouse facility less than 10 minutes from the airport,” Noll-Williams said.