Demand from the Far East help Schiphol break records in 2017

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Schiphol Cargo

Cargo volumes at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol have grown 5.4 per cent in 2017 with strong demand from the Far East boosting figures.

The Dutch airport handled 1.75 million tonnes of cargo in 2017, with imports from the Far East increasing 3.1 per cent to 299,386 tonnes and exports growing 8.8 per cent to 316,097 tonnes.

European exports grew 19.1 per cent to 123,950 tonnes in 2017 while imports increased 18.2 per cent to 124,992 tonnes.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol head of cargo, Jonas van Stekelenburg says: “We have continued to build on initiatives in 2016 and 2017 with the aim of enhancing the experience of our pharmaceutical, e-commerce, and perishables customers, and our continued commitment to quality is having positive results.”

He says the growth in e-commerce shipments was a large contributor to cargo volumes, and a number of flights transit in Europe en-route to Asia, which was behind a proportion of European figures to the Asian market.

Inbound Latin American cargo was up 21.5 per cent to 123,524 tonnes due to additional freighter flights, while outbound volumes were up 1.8 per cent to 76,498 tonnes.

African imports fell by 6.6 per cent to 109,751 tonnes due to restrictions imports by the Kenyan Authorities meaning fewer direct freighter flights from Nairobi, and exports were also down 5.4 per cent to 51,743 tonnes.

Imports from the Middle East increased 3.4 per cent to 97,789 tonnes and exports by 2.1 per cent to 122,617 tonnes.

North American imports were down 5.6 per cent to 141,714 tonnes due to changes in regional strategies by some airline partners, though exports were up 4.4 per cent to 164,509 tonnes.

A maximum number of 500,000 air traffic movements until 2020 have been agreed between the Schiphol Group, the local community, airlines and the Dutch Government.

Van Stekelenburg comments: “It is very positive that in this current 2017 / 2018 winter season, all requested, full freighter slots were granted, and many freighters were able to continue their business at Schiphol with ad-hoc slots.”

He admits: “The slot scarcity has been a challenge for us as a cargo community, and in some cases, cargo stakeholders were under-represented in the various sections of the airport community.”

Collaboration remains the focus for 2018, with van Stekelenburg saying: “Together we will continue to pursue our ambitions of better digital information exchange, and further quality improvements in the supply chain, particularly for pharma, e-commerce, and perishables.”

Smart Cargo Mainport programme initiatives such as the Holland Flower Alliance, Pharma Gateway Amsterdam and European Green Fast Lanes are working towards this goal by improving information sharing and optimal landside logistics.

The airport is also aiming to be Europe’s smartest cargo hub with innovations including the compliance checker developed in partnership with Cargonaut.