Maastricht Aachen Airport reports 2023 growth in trucked freight volumes

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Maastricht Aachen Airport (MAA) has reported a 270% year-on-year increase in trucked freight volumes for 2023, offsetting a drop in flown cargo following last year’s EUR35.3 million runway improvement works.

The huge rise in trucked freight, where MAA provides fulfilment services including repacking, sorting, and Customs handling, comes as flown cargo volumes were reported 70% down compared to the same period 2022.

READ: Maastricht branch of Air Cargo Netherlands launched

Trucked freight increased from 11,120 metric tonnes to 31,056 metric tonnes in January 2023 to December 2023, while flown freight was down from 108,218 metric tonnes to 32,275 metric tonnes for the same period.

“MAA’s strategy to focus on, and improve, trucked freight volumes was, in part,  a response to the impact the improvements on our runway were, and are, sure to bring about,” said Jonas van Stekelenburg, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MAA.

“The fantastic team at MAA managed to significantly offset the drop off in flown cargo volumes brought about by MAA’s runway improvement project and we are now well positioned to get flown cargo volumes back to 2022 levels and well beyond.”

The second largest cargo hub in the Netherlands, MAA invested EUR35.3 million to upgrade its airstrip as part of a plan to extend the runway’s operational length to 2,750 meters by end of 2025.

In addition to the essential closure of the runway, van Stekelenburg also referred to the tough year for air freight globally for MAA’s reduction in flown freight, emphasising that regional cargo airports were more affected by volatility in the market than hub airports.

Looking forward, van Stekelenburg was up-beat, pointing to a promising recovery in air freight volumes in towards the end of 2023, which he expects to continue.

“The focus on the restructuring of MAA from Board level downwards throughout 2023 has made way for keen focus on the development of its wider commercial activities,” said van Stekelenburg.

READ: Maastricht hires new Head of Commercial Development to drive growth

“MAA’s newly-launched Commercial Department in November last year, as part of its overall growth strategy, has already led to key discussions taking place with various airlines for 2024 and beyond.”

MAA recently appointed a new Head of Commercial Development, Dean Boljuncic, who is working to launch a Regional Cargo Community, supported by Air Cargo Netherlands, which in December launched a branch in Maastricht.