May 30, 2023

FedEx expands package capacity at Adelaide Airport


FedEx Express has opened a new air gateway in Adelaide to support surging airfreight demand out of South Australia. 

The new facility is part of a planned logistics hub on the east side of Adelaide Airport and features enhanced sorting and storage capabilities.

The FedEx Adelaide South Australian gateway spans approximately 689,000 square feet, more than double the size of the previous facilities. It is equipped with 1,427 feet of conveyor belts and an advanced automated sortation system that can sort up to 10,000 packages per hour, four times the previous sorting capacity, according to a May 18 news release.

FedEx (NYSE: FDX) said the gateway sort center enables one-day delivery service to be extended to homes and businesses in 130 additional postal codes across South Australia. 

Air cargo volume in Adelaide is projected to double to 161,000 tons between 2020 and 2039, according to the airport’s 2019 master plan. 

FedEx currently operates 25 weekly cargo flights in and out of Adelaide Airport carrying packages and heavy freight for importers and exporters of all sizes.

“This gateway is now the largest single express freight sorting facility in South Australia and the first to respond to major freight upgrades at the Adelaide Airport. The enhanced capabilities of the new facility will benefit local businesses looking to tap into the international marketplace and support the growing demand for e-commerce in the South Australia region,” said Peter Langley, vice president, FedEx Express Australasia.

FedEx Express has cut international flight activity, including in the Asia-Pacific region by 10% in recent months and undertaken other cost-cutting measures due to a prolonged downturn in shipping, but the Adelaide facility was in progress well before those changes.

The new gateway incorporates features to minimize the environmental impact, including large skylights and LED lighting, electric vehicle charging, and rainwater harvesting.

Most of Adelaide Airport’s airfreight is carried in the cargo holds of passenger aircraft. International inbound air cargo is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 4.8% to 6.8%, with exports growing 3.6% to 5%, according to the master plan.

The top airfreight partners for Adelaide are Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and the Middle East.

The planned logistics park is designed to consolidate existing on-airport freight operations with adjoining off-airport industrial, warehouse and distribution operations.

Guangzhou trade facilitation

In related news, FedEx Express said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the city government of Guangzhou to cooperate on customs clearance, cross-border e-commerce and the establishment of a FedEx operations center to enhance international trade.

The Chinese city has been keen in recent years to facilitate trade with global markets. 

FedEx’s Asia-Pacific air hub is located at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and handles more than 210 flights per week. FedEx plans to establish a South China operations center at the hub to support local pickup and delivery.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

FedEx says air network restructuring to save $700M annually

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