Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo are poised for takeoff to their new home: the new purpose-built dnata City East, London Heathrow’s state-of-the-art cargo facility. The move supports the airlines’ growing cargo businesses, enhances their trans-Atlantic partnership, and future-proofs the joint venture’s position in the UK market by doubling the size of their cargo footprint at the airport.
Virgin and Delta aligned their cargo operations under one roof in the UK in June 2016, and the carriers now share cargo facilities at major U.S. gateways, notably Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New York, Orlando, and Washington Dulles.
The move to the new facility—scheduled for the second half of 2019—will ultimately increase the size of Virgin and Delta’s cargo operation at Heathrow to 335,000 square feet and help shippers benefit from greater automation and faster truck and cargo handling times.
Inside the warehouse, technology investments will enable staff using handheld devices to efficiently manage the flow of cargo, while the double-train ETV system will increase storage to 245 positions for pallets and containers. Customer trucks arriving at the facility will benefit from a new door management system, which enables drivers to complete paperwork at the gatehouse on arrival without leaving their vehicles and to then be immediately assigned to one of the facility’s 18 cargo doors.
The new location will also provide further benefits for shippers using Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo services to move temperature-controlled healthcare and life science products, as well as offering a dedicated perishables zone and an enlarged AVI center for live animals.