Rhenus invests in a cutting-edge temperature-controlled perishables facility at London Heathrow


Rhenus has unveiled an investment in a cutting-edge temperature-controlled perishables facility for the handling of fresh products at the company’s London Heathrow base. Replete with advanced security and storage capability, the launch forms part of a strategy to provide customers with enhanced perishables logistics solutions.

The innovative new system, measuring 15 by 13 metres, offers a substantial 2,195 square metres of floor space and features a two-layer racking configuration. Providing 1,209 cubic metres of temperature-controlled storage, fully regulated from 0 to 8 Celsius, it is an ideal solution for storing a wide range of perishable goods. With the installation, Rhenus becomes one of the few freight forwarders with the unique capability to store and build Unit Load Devices (ULDs) within a chilled environment at London Heathrow.

The temperature-regulated perishables handling facility will streamline operations for Rhenus customers by minimising handling and complexity, preserving the integrity of the cold chain and enhancing supply chain control. Rhenus is also incorporating sophisticated security measures into its operations, augmenting its screening capabilities in line with Department for Transport (DfT) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) standards and requirements.

The combination of dual view X-ray and a CEIAS EMIS 130200 Electromagnetic Inspection Scanner will enable security screenings of a maximum of 30 pallets per hour, inspecting non-metallic cargo shipments. This includes all perishable products, such as flowers, paper, plastics and wood products, further ensuring the safety and integrity of the transported goods.

Rhenus offers a comprehensive suite of services for fresh goods and perishables, including full in-house support for customs formalities, health requirements, certificates of conformity/origin, and the legalisation of phytosanitary certificates/documents with the Chamber of Commerce. Rhenus also provides pick and pack services and other value-added services with chilled storage, offering a complete cool chain environment for handling perishable cargo.

Following the successful launch of Rhenus Fresh department in Norway and the Netherlands, the Rhenus Fresh team in the UK was launched in 2023 as a specialised perishables service, operating 24 hours a day.

Commenting on the news, George Mead, Head of Rhenus Fresh, UK, said:  “This investment expands our unique selling proposition (USP), appealing to a wider range of customers seeking temperature control for various products, such as flowers, meats, dairy, fruits & vegetables, and fish. Additionally, we are equipped to transport items with a slightly prolonged shelf life, requiring storage and subsequent export, including segmented ocean shipments.”

Steven Aitken, Managing Director of Rhenus Air & Ocean, added, “Our dedication to innovation and exceeding customer expectations forms the foundation of our services. Alongside our cutting-edge security protocols, this strategic initiative solidifies our position as a top-tier provider in temperature-controlled logistics.”

With more than 75 years of experience in the UK cargo transportation industry, Rhenus has established itself as a reliable source for temperature-controlled ocean and air freight forwarding and handling services.