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Indiaexportnews.com

AMI moves into new Heathrow home

  06.02.2012    

The UK arm of Air Menzies International (AMI) – the world’s largest trade-only airfreight and express wholesaler – has moved into a new London Heathrow hub facility at Polar Park, Bath Road, on the northern edge of the airport. 
AMI’s cargo division – one of the largest movers of airfreight in the UK - has already transferred all operations from its previous base in Stanwell. AMI’s Express division will transfer in early March bringing the two businesses back together under one roof for the first time since 2008. Rapid growth had forced the Express operation to re-locate to temporary overspill premises in nearby Colnbrook. 
Located near the airport Perimeter Road, the main A4 and the M4 and M25 motorways, the new AMI Heathrow base is conveniently located both for AMI’s local customers, and those from further afield. 
With 46,253 sq ft (4,297 sq m.) of warehousing and 9031 sq ft (839 sq m) of offices, the new AMI base is over 50% larger than the previous facility. The new building has greatly improved vehicle access, and has been extensively modified to offer cargo doors for both palletised and loose cargo. AMI Express will meanwhile have its own dedicated door.  
The AMI Heathrow terminal is located in a secure compound, and access to sensitive areas is via biometric turnstiles and “airlocks”. The new base also provides a much larger yard, enabling easier truck parking and manoeuvring. The facility’s large, combined cargo and Express reception also provides hot drinks, snack machines and toilets for visiting drivers. 
The new facility employs an automated warehouse handling system which underwent intensive testing at AMI’s old base, before going live at the new site. The system is based on the Hermes handling management system, developed by Hermes Logistics, which is now used throughout most of the cargo handling operations around the world belonging to AMI's parent, Menzies Aviation. Hermes now caters for all aspects of AMI’s LHR warehouse operations, streamlining storage and retrieval of cargo, and utilising warehouse space more efficiently. Hermes also drives a new truck queuing and door allocation system. 
Says AMI Regional Vice President, Sharon Wright: “The new base is not only larger than our old facility, it also offers greatly-improved access; and its clear-span design will make a major contribution to speed and efficiency. This will all add up to greatly enhanced customer service.
“With transit-shed-style queue and door management, we have tackled head-on the greatest problem for trucks delivering to Heathrow. One fast delivery to AMI can replace several time-consuming individual drops to airlines’ transit sheds, and for our many customers who use both AMI and its Express arm, it will soon be possible for them to drop all their AMI shipments at a single location. Customers from all over the UK will find their vehicles are turned round and returned to base far more quickly. That will show them real savings on their own operational costs.” 
Further improvements will be introduced throughout 2012; soon, customers with small shipments will be able to “walk in” their deliveries and hand them over the counter, instead of having to queue with vehicles making larger drops.


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