The ‘Milk Run’ supply chain optimisation initiative at Schiphol Airport combines freight to and from several cargo forwarders into a single truck. With the highly efficient and more sustainable cargo process, Swissport the Netherlands has saved 20,000 truck runs since the start, seven years ago.
Because many freight forwarders arrange their truck rides individually, there still is room to improve efficiency in cargo transport on the airport premises. Many trucks are driving around with approximately 75% of their capacity unused. By combining the freight of several forwarders and delivering it in a so-called ‘Milk Run’, fewer truck rides are required, not only limiting the number of trucks on the road, but also saving time, fuel and reducing CO² emissions. The ground handler, the forwarders and by extension the entire supply chain benefit as the cargo is handled faster, more efficiently and more reliably.
The Milk Run initiative at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was launched by a small number of handlers and forwarders in 2015 and has grown ever since. Early 2021, the scope was expanded to also include export cargo.
“Swissport was one of the first to get on board with the Milk Run imitative in our cargo community at Schiphol Airport” says Daniel Tarrega, CEO Swissport the Netherlands. “In addition to the reduced environmental impact, the efficiency gains allow us to serve our customers even better by processing more air cargo, faster.”
Jeroen Giling, director cargo at Swissport the Netherlands commented: “The loading and unloading of Milk Run trucks is a top priority and happens at a dedicated truck dock to ensure an efficient operation. We are immensely proud to provide this innovative service to our customers, it is a great combination of workload optimization and improving sustainability in the air cargo business.”
With this new way of working, the handler takes control of the primary distribution phase of import freight and benefits from optimized export freight deliveries at the warehouse. Less traffic means less chance of congestion and delays and allows for more accurate and efficient resource management.
Swissport has recently announced a major increase of its cargo warehousing capacity by adding a new, second line (landside) terminal at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The new facility, located only a 10-minute drive from two existing terminals, expands Swissport’s cargo handling capacity to 35,000 sqm. In addition to air cargo handling, Swissport also offers passenger services and lounge hospitality at Schiphol Airport.