Bellies are full of cargo at Schiphol

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Bart Pouwels, head of cargo at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Full freighter movements may have fallen by 10% at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in 2018, but strong passenger links meant that overall volumes only saw a small dip.

Total volumes were down 2.5% to 1.72 million tonnes, which head of cargo Bart Pouwels says was due to more effective usage of belly capacity on passenger flights.

The trend has continued this year with total cargo volumes down 11.3% year-to-date up to February due to slot constraints, but belly cargo has grown 4.1%.

Pouwels says: “We remain highly committed to our cargo community, working in joint cooperation on our Smart Cargo Mainport Program, and investing in our pharma community Pharma Gateway Amsterdam, as well as the Holland Flower Alliance. Flowers, pharma, and e-commerce remain important focus points.”

Schiphol is still a cargo friendly airport, it remains very important to the overall strategy.

Pouwels says Schiphol is investing heavily in digital infrastructure, adding: “We also believe that as an industry you need to work together to excel.”

This is why it is committed to the Smart Cargo Mainport Program, with Pouwels saying: “We strongly believe in digital solutions and working on innovations to create smoother and more efficient operations at Schiphol.”

Looking to the future, Pouwels sees the Benelux market growing in line with Europe.

He says: “We believe that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will continue to play an important role in the Benelux market given the network capacity out of Schiphol.”