CPH: Denmark could be a centre for e-commerce

Major airports in Northern Europe are at an advanced stage of developing cargo and business areas to generate growth and jobs. Denmark risks missing out on that growth, which is why Copenhagen Airport is now inviting Danish and international companies to create an Airport Business Park.

Written 28.03 2017

More jobs, more exports and even better opportunities to do business with the wider world. That is the objective for the area – the size of 25 football pitches – that Copenhagen Airport is now inviting Danish and international companies to develop.

“Denmark should aim to be the Northern European centre for cargo and e-commerce, and a hub for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries in Northern Europe,” says Peter Krogsgaard, Copenhagen Airport’s chief commercial officer.

“So we need to create an Airport Business Park that can also attract companies with a particular need for a central location at a large international airport – companies that we would not otherwise attract to Denmark.”

Denmark could then join the battle to be the Northern European hub for major global e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Alibaba.

170,000 m2 for growth and jobs
The ambition for the 170,000 m2 area leading down to the Øresund alongside the current cargo area is to double the airport’s cargo capacity from 500,000 to 1,000,000 tonnes annually.

Air cargo is important for Denmark’s economy and exports. Measured by value, 32% of Danish exports currently leave the country by air, including in particular high-value goods such as mink fur, pharmaceutical products and spare parts for machinery and engines.

“With a Business Park at the airport, we could also strengthen export opportunities for the many Danish companies that rely on overseas exports. And at the same time we could attract global companies that would otherwise locate in and around other large European airports,” says Peter Krogsgaard.

Growing interest from investors
Claus Lønborg, CEO of Copenhagen Capacity, believes an Airport Business Park would enable Denmark to attract large global e-commerce companies:

“We’re finding that logistics in the Greater Copenhagen area has attracted growing interest from international investors looking for a central location for their gateway to the Nordic region and Europe. The central location that an airport can offer is highly attractive for global e-commerce and other companies that want an optimal infrastructure for their expansion,” says Claus Lønborg.

“They could have that opportunity with an Airport Business Park at Copenhagen Airport. Furthermore, Denmark’s
competitive framework conditions, such as a flexible labour market and a well-developed physical and digital infrastructure, are crucial factors when companies are choosing locality,” Claus Lønborg explains.

Air cargo also supports passenger traffic
The ambition to double air cargo capacity from 500,000 to 1,000,000 tonnes a year is not just about exports and imports. It is also crucial for passenger flights.

“Currently, belly cargo accounts for a large share of earnings on long-haul international routes – often more than 10% of earnings,” says Peter Krogsgaard. “If we can show the airlines that it’s possible to fill aircraft flying to Mumbai or Cape Town with belly cargo, it will be even more attractive for them to fly to Copenhagen rather than to one of our competitor airports in Europe.”

Copenhagen Airport will now continue its excellent discussions with the authorities in order to make the vision a reality.

Facts:
• An Airport Business Park would allow cargo capacity at Copenhagen Airport to double from 500,000 to 1,000,000 tonnes annually.
• More than 10% of earnings on long-haul international air routes comes from belly cargo.
• By creating capacity for even more cargo, an Airport Business Park would thus also support passenger routes.
• In 2016, more than 29 million people passed through Copenhagen Airport on one of 165 direct routes out into the world, 36 of which with destinations outside Europe.
• The airport is currently undergoing major expansion to create capacity for 40 million passengers a year. This expansion spans several years and the total cost will be around DKK 20 billion.