Birmingham-Shutlesworth International Airport Partners with Kuehne+Nagel to Expand Air Cargo Business in the Region

Feb. 21, 2023
This is the first time the BAA is partnering with a logistics company and the first time Kuehne+Nagel is establishing a presence at a secondary airport in North America.

BIRMINGHAM, AL – (February 21, 2023) – Today, Kuehne+Nagel, a global logistics company, and the Birmingham Airport Authority (BAA) have announced details of a new partnership that will expand business opportunities for both the company and the region. This is the first time the BAA is partnering with a logistics company and the first time Kuehne+Nagel is establishing a presence at a secondary airport in North America. This partnership allows both organizations to better meet the cargo needs of businesses in the region and helps position Birmingham as an important part of the cargo market in the Southeastern corridor of the U.S.

Kuehne+Nagel will begin operating weekly international cargo flights into BHM starting in April 2023.

This new partnership represents a new era of business development at the airport and positions the Birmingham Airport Authority to build on its role as an important center for business growth in the region and in the state of Alabama.

“This is a moment that will change the trajectory of this airport,” said Darlene Wilson, chair of the Birmingham Airport Authority. “The recent enhancements we’ve made to the infrastructure of the airfield, plans for a new air cargo facility, combined with this partnership with one of the leading logistics companies is getting us closer to realizing a long-term vision of expanding air cargo business in the region.”

Last year, the Birmingham Airport Authority completed design work on a new $25 million air cargo facility. In May, BHM will break ground on the new facility. Initially, Kuehne+Nagel will operate from Kaiser Aircraft Industries’ hangar on the airfield, then move into the new air cargo facility at BHM upon completion. Construction is anticipated to take about 10 months.

“Since 1890, Kuehne+Nagel has been shaping the world of logistics with a strong determination to connect people and goods through logistics solutions, and this partnership with Birmingham Airport Authority is helping us continue this tradition in the U.S.,” said Greg Martin, senior vice president, air logistics at Kuehne+Nagel. “Through this partnership, we will have our first presence in Alabama, bringing us closer to our customers in the Southeastern Corridor. By being the first logistics partner at BHM, we will be able to help our customers get their cargo to its final destination more quickly, affordably and reliably by avoiding the bottlenecks at larger airports.”

This partnership was attractive to Kuehne+Nagel because of the ability to better meet the precise needs of its customers in the automotive, aviation and pharmaceutical industries through features such as additional cargo capacity, temperature-controlled cargo space and more. Kuehne+Nagel will subcontract warehouse management to Alliance Ground International (AGI), which is a ground handling company that currently operates at more than a dozen airports in the nation. Kuehne+Nagel will begin operations at BHM on April 2, with an inaugural flight that will arrive from Stuttgart, Germany, marking the first cargo flight from Stuttgart, Germany to the eastern U.S. Last year, there were 1,564 air cargo operations at BHM that moved nearly 21 metric tons of goods into the region. Those numbers are expected to increase with the establishment of this new partnership. While the partnership agreement is initially for six years, both organizations intend for this to be a long-lasting relationship that benefits the region far into the future.

“This is great news for businesses in our region that rely on air cargo arriving in an efficient and timely manner,” said Wilson.

At BHM, the process of landing, unloading, and getting cargo out to customers will not be slowed by the congested conditions that exist at the large HUB airports in the area.