Cargo tonnage passing through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol dipped in the first half of the year mainly as a result of a decline in volumes from Asia and Europe.
Schiphol, Europe’s third busiest cargo gateway, handled 784,567 tonnes in the first six months of 2015, down 2.1 per cent on 2014. It says the latest figures were mainly impacted by declines in Asia traffic led by China (down 3.8 per cent at 293,293 tonnes) and Europe (down 16.2 per cent to 64,198 tonnes).
Other regions held up in the first six months and bright spots included North America where traffic rose 4.7 per cent in the period to 150,494 tonnes, while Latin America was up 4.8 per cent to 84,482 tonnes. Middle East traffic was down 3.4 per cent at 103,243 tonnes, and Africa was marginally down (0.1 per cent) at 88,860 tonnes.
Freighter movements rose 1.4 per cent to 8,218 in the same period and the cargo hub’s best recorded month in the first half of the year was March, with a total of 139,597 tonnes.
Schiphol’s director of cargo, Jonas van Stekelenburg, says: “It is disappointing we have not so far seen some growth again in 2015 but, given the current softness of our major Chinese market, the tonnages are better than we might have expected.
“The weakness of the Russian economy also impacted one of our biggest flower markets, affecting exports around Valentine’s Day and other events in their calendar when flowers are given.”
With tonnages for 2015 still up 6.5 per cent on 2013, Stekelenburg maintains the underlying figures are better than they might appear because the comparison is against a very strong first half of 2014 when growth topped 7.2 per cent.
“Our ongoing drive to innovate and improve processes at Schiphol, and the proactive work we are undertaking to develop new trade lanes and vertical clusters, should continue to insulate us against the worst effects of slowing economies,” he says.