COVID testing campaign inaugurated at Frankfurt

Staff from three major cargo handling companies have been tested to increase safety

Frankfurt Airport began the new year by implementing a large scale COVID-19 testing campaign on site. Three air cargo handling companies operated the strategy: FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services, LUG aircargo handling and Perishable Centre Frankfurt (PCF).

The Perishable Centre Frankfurt (PCF), Europe’s largest cargo hub for perishable goods, is also partaking in the campaign. They believe that staff need to be protected due to the unavoidable exposure to the virus, whilst the new regime also “gives families a bit of security”.

Tests were conducted over several days on around 1,500 employees who handle approximately 40 percent of the air freight at Frankfurt Airport.

Bensheim-based company, Chemlab, were responsible for conducting the tests on site. The aim was to increase protection for the workforce to prohibit the spread of the virus throughout the company.

“Conducting the tests during ongoing shift operations was a logistical challenge that we were able to successfully overcome in a joint action with the freight handlers,” said Harald Stork, Chemlab Managing Director. “Thanks to the good and flexible interaction of all the companies involved, we were able to test everyone quickly and efficiently."

The ongoing pandemic has caused the cargo handling sector of the airport to work through extremely challenging times. Compared to 2019, Frankfurt airport handled far more cargo throughout 2020, partially due to the increasing demand of personal protective equipment.

Nina Strippel, Site Manager and COO at LUG aircargo handling, believes that implementation and continuation of safety measures is key throughout this difficult period. "We established a crisis team in the company at an early stage, which consulted frequently, and initiated measures adapted to the respective situation. Through consistent implementation, we comprehensively protect our personnel. The protection of our employees has top priority for us, which is why we strongly supported the testing initiative."

Both FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services and LUG aircargo handling moved up to three times more cargo than the previous year. Due to the increase in demand for the service, staff are on duty constantly to keep cargo moving.