SVO plans to grow cargo complex with rising Chinese cross-border e-commerce, express demand

This week, Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) and Moscow Cargo presented their “2030 Master Plan” for the expansion of the airport’s cargo complex to an audience including Chinese airline executives and members of a Chinese international trade committee, positioning the Russian airport to capture growing Chinese cross-border e-commerce demand.

The Chinese Committee for the Promotion of International Trade, the Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, SVO’s customs department, and “top managers of Chinese airlines” were in attendance for the presentation and a tour through the hub site.

Last month, SVO told Cargo Airport News the details of its plans, which include the addition of a third runway that will double its available airfield capacity once complete, as well as the expansion of Moscow Cargo’s handling and storage facilities.

“The big advantage of our terminal is the availability of space for processing express products,” Mikhail Chuvilkin, first deputy general director and production director of Moscow Cargo, said in his speech. “Today, the main requirement of customers is speed. Speed ​​gives advantages in the market.”

Moscow is quickly becoming an Eastern European hub for cargo – especially e-commerce. According to SVO, trade turnover between Russia and China grew by 28% in 2018, year-over-year, exceeding a record high of US$100 billion, while imports of goods from China to SVO increased by more than 40% and exports increased by 26%, y-o-y.

The airport is well-positioned to capture additional e-commerce volumes from China. Last spring, Chinese e-tail juggernaut Alibaba’s logistics subsidiary, Cainiao, announced the selection of Moscow as one of six global hubs it will establish in support of Alibaba’s goal to deliver any product sold on its platforms, to anywhere in the world, within 72 hours. Russian cargo airline conglomerate Volga-Dnepr Group, which is headquartered in Moscow, also selected another Cainiao hub airport – Liège (LGG) – as its second hub last July, making for a well-placed Chinese e-commerce network between SVO and other Cainiao hubs, and positioning Russia-based air cargo players high on the list of those operators hoping to grow alongside e-commerce in Asia.