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Press article fom  16.03.2006

Bucher Invests in Cargo Terminal

The symbolic groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday marked the start of construction work on a new cargo terminal at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. The ceremonies were officially opened by the Rhineland-Palatinate's Minister of Commerce and Transport, Hans-Artur Bauckhage, the Managing Partner of Bucher Group, Gerhard Bucher, the Managing Director of Fraport Cargo Services GmbH, Winfried Hartmann, and the Managing Director of the airport, Stefano Wulf. The investor is Bucher Group, a group of medium-sized companies from in Kröv that has been represented at the Hahn site since 1993. The cost of the investment is more than six million euros.

"Bucher is a mid-sized enterprise that has been part of Hahn since the very beginning and is now making a new investment", Minister Bauckhage said, mentioning that Managing Director Gerhard Bucher had been active at Hahn practically from the very beginning. "You were one of the first businessmen in the region to see the opportunities offered by this location, this airport, and you had faith in its development – just as we of the state government did," the Minister stated. Bucher Group now has 120 employees and uses its modern vehicle fleet to provide just-in-time logistic services for the airport as well as for a large international tire manufacturer in Wittich. The Minister said he could easily imagine that both companies and their employees would be greatly interested in the completion of the Hochmosel Crossing and an expansion of the B 50 highway that would meet the need for more capacity.

Bucher has been active in various areas of the logistic business for many years and was one of the first to lease storage space at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Apart from two large sheds, he has also been making use of vacant aircraft shelters to store tires for many years, at times up to 83 shelters. Since mid-2005, Hahn Cargo Services (HCS) – a Bucher Group company – and Fraport Cargo Services (FCS), a subsidiary of Fraport AG, have been working together very successfully in the field of landside cargo handling at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. A shed is currently being used for this purpose which, however, has no direct access to the cargo apron.

"In 2005, we drew up a leasehold with Frankfurt-Hahn Airport GmbH to secure the last available lot with direct access to the apron and have obligated ourselves to build a cargo terminal on it," Gerhard Bucher reported. "We are building a modern cargo terminal that will meet all requirements for fast, high-quality handling. It will be laid out for an air cargo capacity of approximately 80 – 100,000 tons per year." The planned shed will be located on a 15,600-sqm plot in the immediate vicinity of the new apron (Ramp 4). It is to have a usable area of 6,630 sqm and be equipped with a large canopy in the direction of the apron as well as with all other modern facilities necessary for fast, economical cargo handling. According to the company, it will be the first cargo terminal in Germany built in compliance with the most recent safety guidelines contained in the Air Safety Act that went into effect in early 2006. It will have sixteen loading gates with ramps and refrigerated compartments for perishable items and deep-frozen goods. Operations are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2006. "Our goal is to be able to offer our customers additional cargo capacities through the alliance of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport and Frankfurt Airport as part of the further growth in the international cargo business," Winfried Hartmann of FCS stated. "Our company was founded as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fraport AG particularly to outsource Fraport's cargo handling and do business successfully in the extremely competitive market for cargo handling. By taking this step to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, we can offer customers seamless service for the Frankfurt and Hahn airport system regardless of which airport the cargo arrives at. In addition, slots that are not available at the desired times in Frankfurt will be offered at Hahn. Since night flights are allowed at Hahn, the airlines have opportunities to obtain optimum time slots here." FCS handles cargo for around sixty customers at Frankfurt Airport and in the meantime has reached a volume of 389,000 tons of cargo or an eighteen percent share of the market there.

Stefano Wulf, Managing Director of Flughafengesellschaft Frankfurt-Hahn sees the commitment of HCS and FCS as strengthening the cargo side of the business. "By building the cargo terminal, the cargo handling capacity at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport will grow and also enable us to continue expanding our cargo traffic. The airport needs additional air traffic to reach profitability and thus guarantee jobs in the Hunsrück region now and in the future." With 107,000 tons of cargo flown in 2005Frankfurt-Hahn already ranks among the four most potent cargo airports in Germany.

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