Cargo strategy

Aéroports de Paris’ strategy for its cargo business is to develop and increase the appeal of its Paris airports in order to win new markets and support cargo operators in the development of their activities. In this context, Groupe ADP’s goal with regard to cargo is for Paris-Charles de Gaulle to become the European leader in the years to come. Development of the cargo business is one of the themes of the Connect 2020 strategic plan, which specifically includes the creation of 100,000 sq.m. of additional cargo facilities over the 2016-2020 period, to support our customers’ growth. 

Groupe ADP’s cargo strategy is based on four axes:

Recovering traffic:
This entails the implementation of a marketing support programme to encourage the development of existing or new cargo routes or the introduction of new all-cargo airlines. 

Commitment to better quality of service and a more attractive cargo zone:
Besides the modernisation works and projects to offer facilities that meet the highest international standards, efforts are also focused on cleanliness, signage and security. A large security project undertaken with all of the operators installed accesses with video surveillance to improve lorry traffic and make the merchandise flows more secure.

With regard to real estate, the priority is to develop the active “front line” (zone comprising the warehouses closest to the aircraft, at the border between airside and landside). To do this, the group invested in border cargo warehouses with direct access to the runways to facilitate the loading/unloading/customs clearance operations in the holds of all-cargo aircraft. It has also increased the number of advanced cargo storage platforms to take into account the movement of cargo to the holds of passenger aircraft. The challenge is to also offer “tailor-made” solutions to the cargo forwarding agent partners: either in divisible warehouses co-financed by Groupe ADP or, like Bolloré or DHL, in private warehouses, or even by third party investors.

Plan the development of the cargo business over the long term:
Groupe ADP has launched, along with the cargo community, an airside equipment geolocation system project and an export animal station in addition to the existing import station. In addition, in collaboration with the IATA, since summer 2016, Groupe ADP has launched an initiative that enables all interested cargo operators to obtain CEIV Pharma certification; this has become the standard certification in response to increasing demand from the pharmaceutical industry (CEIV Pharma). 

Groupe ADP has also conducted several prospective studies relating to the opportunity for a shared air-sea offering with the ports of Paris Seine Normandy (HAROPA), on the changing business of cargo operators or on a European benchmark for the cost of a tonne of cargo on the entire logistics chain.

Promotion of air cargo transport:
Groupe ADP campaigns for the development of traffic rights (5th freedom rights) and measures for administrative simplification which improve the competitiveness of air cargo in France. In this respect, the adoption in 2015 of the automatic reversal of VAT liability on import, a measure defended by Groupe ADP, allows agents and loaders to optimise their cash flow since they are no longer obligated to pay VAT on customs clearance.

Groupe ADP has made significant investments to ensure that Paris hosted the 28th edition of the Air Cargo Forum, which was held from 26 to 28 October at Porte de Versailles in Paris. Held every two years by the TIACA (The International Air Cargo Association), the main international association of air cargo professionals, this major event is the largest global meeting of players from this industry (airlines, airports, cargo forwarding agents, handling agents, integrators, express delivery providers and loaders, etc.). As joint host of the Parisian edition with Air France Cargo, Groupe ADP built a French village around a shared Groupe ADP/Air France Cargo stand.

The 2016 edition of the Air Cargo Forum brought together more than 200 exhibitors and 3,000 visitors under the theme of “An open sky to innovation”. Continuing in this same vein, Groupe ADP has already confirmed that it will be an exhibitor at ACF 2018, which will be held in Toronto from 16 to 18 October at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (

Last March, the group also participated in the International Week of Transport and Logistics (SITL).

Initiatives and innovations that unite the Cargo Community Innovation is at the heart of Groupe ADP’s cargo strategy. As a coordinator and promoter of the cargo community, which includes more than 200 companies at Paris-Charles de Gaulle in addition to Government services, it supports several initiatives which aim to facilitate processing and goods handling operations. For example, the electronic data exchange platform “Cargo Community System” - developed by CIN France (Cargo Information Network) and Groupe ADP, can trace cargo operations at the airport, while optimizing compliance with customs regulations and safety and security obligations. The success of the deployment is evidenced by the fact that around 254 cargo operators are already using it. This exchange platform pertains to the logic of e-freight, i.e., the possibility of issuing a paperless airway bill with its security certificate. This project, conducted with the Roissy Interregional Customs Service, will reduce the number of paper documents that accompanies each shipment.

Groupe ADP is also preparing to launch, in 2018, the first innovation challenge dedicated to cargo in the form of a competition organised for innovative start-ups and SMEs who are invited to invent and design new ground-breaking solutions. The winning ideas will be tested in experiment phases and the most promising projects will then be deployed at the Paris airports.

In order to encourage and boost the use of modern, innovative and high-performance technologies, Groupe ADP wishes to set up a geolocation tool for non-aircraft and non-motorized airside equipment at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport: OCAPI. Geolocation in real time will allow a better:
- rationalization of fleets of gear and equipment,
- optimization of storage and storage areas,
- traceability of operations. 


The video interview with Pascal COURTADE,
Airport Operations Director at Groupe ADP