CDG Muscles Up as Regional Import Hub

February 3rd, 2016

Bolloré Logistics' operational restructuring, and launch of a giant new facility located at the airport with direct ramp access at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), strengthens Paris as a leading import hub for Europe-bound freight.

​As the second largest airport in Europe, Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG) is already a main European hub for passenger and cargo airlines. Now, with Bolloré Logistics' expansion and reorganization of its cargo operations there, Paris CDG is also emerging as one of the world's premier freight hubs.

The restructuring of its operational model and inauguration of its state-of-the-art facility will strengthen Bolloré Logistics' use of Paris CDG as an import and export hub. It also allows the company to offer clients enhanced service.

"The changes initiated last June permit us to provide clients guaranteed delivery time, greater security of their goods, and Bolloré Logistics as the single interlocutor responsible for cargo from departure to destination," says Hervé Goffaux, Bolloré Logistics' Paris CDG-based Hubs and Trucking Director.

"Goods in an Bolloré Logistics-consolidated air container at its point of departure on Day A will have arrived, be deconsolidated and available at Paris CDG by the afternoon of Day B, or Day C if there is a transit flight through another gateway. Goods available in Paris CDG the day of arrival of the flight will be delivered to regional or European destinations by the next morning."

The move finds Bolloré Logistics assuming responsibilities it previously granted to airlines that are increasingly focusing on lucrative passenger activity over cargo operations.

Before, cargo was entrusted to airlines that consolidated and deconsolidated cargo loads they transported around the world -- involving the unbundling of bulk shipments up to six times along the way. Now Bolloré Logistics integrates clients' freight in its own unit load devices (ULD) at not only high-volume centers like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Chicago and New York, but also at origins like Manila, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing and Ho Chi Minh. Those remain intact -- and in some cases may be sealed -- until their arrival at the new Bolloré Logistics cargo and office facility at Paris CDG.

"We now ask the transporter to simply fly the cargo while we handle the rest," says Goffaux. "ULDs remain intact until they arrive at Paris CDG. Bolloré Logistics takes responsibility for everything else."

Cargo consolidated in Bolloré Logistics containers until arrival at Paris CDG also vastly diminishes the potential for theft or tampering of goods, and makes identifying where eventual infractions occur easier. Time saved by the new organization -- both en route, and after arrival at the new Paris facilities -- has allowed Bolloré Logistics to improve quality of service in other ways as well.

"Aerospace clients are pleased that their very high-value cargo receives even higher protection, and is covered by our guaranteed delivery time in a sector where respecting arrival deadlines is critical," says Goffaux. "Textile customers are also benefitting. Their packaging can be weakened by hot and humid climates in producing countries. Those packages no longer risk further deterioration from repeated handling and exposure when bigger cargo loads are broken down."

Once ULDs arrive at Paris CDG, Bolloré Logistics sets itself an eight-hour maximum limit for retrieving containers, breaking their contents out in the new facility, and getting goods moving to final destinations. The 37,500 square-meter complex features a highly secured warehouse; two 500 square-meter charging rooms with a 100-forklift fleet; total handling and office staff of 850 employees; and capacity to load 800 trucks per day.

The Paris CDG import hub is expected to process 75% of Bolloré Logistics’ incoming cargo to France by next year -- and render its wider French and European activities more efficient in all aspects.

"As we optimize shuttle transport of cargo from Paris CDG to provincial and European platforms, fewer numbers of planes and trucks will required," notes Goffaux. "That means a lower carbon footprint, which is good news for the environment." 

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