Last updated on June 14, 2020
Latvia capital Riga airport (IATA code: RIX), which last year posted the Baltic states’ highest number of passenger handled with 7.8 million (a 10.5% increase over the year) is set to house a DHL’s new 4 500-square metre regional shipment processing and logistics centre. The deal inked on November 6, 2019 between DHL Latvia and real estate development company Castor Construction was officially enacted at a breaking ground ceremony on Wednesday, June 10th 2020.
The airport which in 2019 handled 27,300 tonnes of cargo -securing more than half of the Baltic states freight- inaugurated a new apron dedicated to freighter aircraft operations. The new shipment processing facility will represent a Euro 12 million investment realised on a terminal leased for the next 10 year. The lease would have another 5 year extension as an option.
According to Rusaviainsider.com website, most of the freight transiting through Riga’s airport consist of the “export and import of high value-added goods, mail and e-commerce, transit air cargo handling and non-military cargo transit to Afghanistan for the needs of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).”
Already the year 2017 had seen “the successful launch of a partnership between the local national post operator Latvijas Pasts and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, with cargo shipments from China streaming through Riga to non-EU countries”.
While most of the freight traffic evolves from dedicated freight carriers such as DHL, UPS, TNT, FedEx, as well as some charter carriers, Air Baltic has managed to carry up to 30% of all the freight traveling through Riga in the bellies of its scheduled passenger aircraft.
Through DHL investment it is hoped that a more attractive infrastructure will help freight-industry operators double the volume transiting through the airport. The new facility is scheduled to be operational next year.