A look inside Dnata’s new facility in SA

By: Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi

dnata2 Dnata Australia CEO Daniela Marsilli dnata2
dnata7 The 1,500 sqm facility has the capacity to handle up to 80 tonnes of cargo a day dnata7
dnata8 The new Adelaide facility was officially opened in February dnata8
Dnata1 An existing site was modified into the tailor-made, expansive airside facility Dnata1
dnata3 dnata3
dnata4 dnata4
dnata5 dnata5
dnata6 There are more than 20 forwarders and trucking companies servicing the facility, with up to 50 trucks entering the site each day dnata6

Export and import volumes are set to increase in South Australia following the opening of a new cargo facility at Adelaide Airport


One of the world’s largest air service providers, Dnata, has opened a new airside cargo facility at Adelaide Airport.

Set to provide convenient and flexible storage options for cargo in the South Australian market, the 1,500 square metre facility has the capacity to handle up to 80 tonnes of cargo per day and will provide storage for both export and import products.

The facility has the ability to provide faster cargo handling, is fully Operator Training Simulator (OTS) and Transportations Security Administration (TSA) accredited for security screening, and includes refrigerated and ambient temperature product options.

With the insulation in the walls of the storage facility nearly 25cm wide, the temperature within the general area remains between 15-25 degrees Celsius.

Freezer rooms store hold cargo at as low as minus 18 degrees.

The facility meets with Australia’s customers, quarantine and transport security regulations.

It is Dnata’s fourth largest facility among those in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin.

The company earlier operated at a 400 sqm cargo facility, which also included interstate trucking services, located out of Adelaide’s airport precinct.

The investment into a refurbished airside facility is the result of customer demands and the company’s commitment to grow its business, Dnata Australia CEO Daniela Marsilli tells ATN.

"Our customers have been calling for an airside facility and we are pleased to be able to meet this need," Marsilli says.

"It has been a significant investment for us and we are committed to growing our business in Adelaide by opening this tailor-made, expansive airside facility."

It took Dnata 18 months to plan the build of the facility, she adds.


Some $350,000 was invested into the facility’s re-development and equipment fit-out.

"We didn’t need to build the facility completely from scratch but rather modify an existing building," Marsilli explains.

With no previous cold storage in Adelaide, Dnata now handles two airlines in the area for cargo and additional ground services.

"This new facility will give us capacity to handle seven to eight international airlines," Marsilli adds.

Business is set to increase thanks to a number of systems in place that will offer faster cargo handling, with the location of facility offering direct airside access.

"Additionally, the facility uses Hermes cargo management system and is equipped with installed x-ray and scales, a flexloader and hoist, to provide capability to load and unload vehicles and transition airside quickly, as well as cobra pallets and scanners," Marsilli says.

"Airside access was an important factor for us to bring in more business. We have gained two airlines as a result of the facility, Qatar Airlines and China Southern Airlines."

Dnata also services facilities in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin.

It employs 12 part-time and two full-time staff members in Adelaide.


Founded in 1959, Dnata has grown into an international air services provider with almost 40,000 employees across more than 80 countries.

It is currently operating out of 131 airports, providing service to over 402 airlines.

Dnata’s global  cargo team moves over 2.6 million tonnes a year across three continents, which is more than 7,000 tonnes of cargo a day.

From flowers, food and other perishables to luxury cars and animals, each item is handled with care.

Real-time tracking ensures express cargo is turned around in less than an hour.

Its services include warehousing services and equipment supply, export cargo acceptance and flight build up, import cargo flight breakdown and delivery, customs control services with document handling and irregularities management, transfer and transit, mail handling including express options, line animal handling and perishable, dangerous and valuable goods handling.  

Dnata has had a varied experience in Australia

Toll Group entered a joint venture with dnata in 2007 for aviation services, in particular to service the Emirates requirements in Australia.

Toll dnata Airport Services (TDAS) acquired the airport handling operations of Skystar at Perth and Brisbane airports, as well as the international passenger handling operations of Aerocare at Sydney and Adelaide.

The acquisition of Skystar’s ground handling operations saw TDAS strengthen its service capability in Brisbane as well as enter the Perth ground handling market for the first time.

The move saw TDAS take on a large team of staff, modern equipment, prime facilities and new customers.

In an effort to expand its footprint in Australia, dnata then acquired Toll’s 50 per cent of share in 2015 as Toll no longer saw the venture necessary to its transport and logistics offering.

Read the full feature in this month's ATN.


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