Trends in baggage logistics and their impact on airport infrastructure

Infrastructure planning for baggage handling at airports is affected by increasing changes of requirements. Integrated transport services along with the digitization of passengers and baggage form the basis for new trends. These trends lead to significant changes of the required baggage logistics with new system loads, frequencies, peaks and structures.

The Department of Aviation Logistics and the Center for Maritime Logistics of Fraunhofer IML were commissioned by Flughafen Hamburg GmbH to record and evaluate current trends as well as their impact on the Hamburg location.

Today, passengers are responsible for baggage transport before and after their flight. In order to make arriving and departing more comfortable, approaches for an unaccompanied baggage flow between house, airport and cruise terminal are developed. In the future, passengers will be able to hand over their baggage at their doorstep. Then the baggage is transported to the airport, flown and transferred to the destination independently of the passenger. "Intelligent" baggage with a digital baggage tag with RFID, GPS and Internet connection will facilitate baggage control and give the passenger information on the current position of their suitcases at all times.

Fast processing, good transfer conditions as well as a pleasant and integrated travel experience are increasingly demanded by passengers. Improved baggage processes that support these trends can become an important competitive advantage for airports. Furthermore, future viability of the infrastructure can be ensured by means of need-based planning.