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Europe’s golden tulip

Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is one of Europe’s largest gateways and as cargo volumes grow there is need to innovate to meet demand. Keith Mwanalushi reports

Schiphol is very well renowned for being a food, flowers and pharmaceuticals hub. It is connected with around 322 scheduled destinations in 95 countries, served by 109 scheduled airlines and 28 scheduled freighter operators.

Schiphol Cargo [which handles freight at the airport] reported an increase of 5.4% on yearly tonnage in 2017, with strong demand in the Far East for European goods boosting total figures to 1,752,498 tonnes.

The airport is Europe’s third largest air cargo hub and it experienced an uptick in cargo throughput of 7.4% year-on-year between January and October 2017, with total figures for January to December 2017 reaching 1.75 million tonnes.

Imports to Schiphol from the Far East in 2017 increased by 3.1% to 299,386 tonnes, with exports to the region growing by 8.8% year-on-year to 316,097 tonnes according to figures released by the airport.

Asia remains Schiphol’s largest market, with Shanghai, China, the busiest destination.

European exports grew 19.1% to 123,950 tonnes in 2017, with imports up 18.2% to 124,992 tonnes.

“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,” said Jonas van Stekelenburg, Head of Cargo, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

He said the upswing in e-commerce shipments, both inbound and outbound, was a large contributor to the cargo volumes for this market.

“A number of flights transit Europe en route to Asia, and we can attribute a proportion of the growth in our European figures to the developing Asian market.”

Flights to Asia transiting European destinations including Baku, Azerbaijan, and Moscow, Russia, continue to contribute to an increase in outbound figures to the Far East.

Latin America inbound cargo was up by 21.5% in 2017 to 123,524 tonnes due to a number of additional full freighter flights on the route. Outbound cargo grew by 1.8% to 76,498 tonnes.

Import volumes from Africa decreased by 6.6% to 109,751 tonnes due to temporary aeronautical restrictions that have been in place since June 2017.

Imposed by the Kenyan Authorities, the restrictions mean that fewer direct freighter flights are coming from Nairobi, Kenya.

Exports to Africa were down 5.4% on 2016 to 51,743 tonnes.


Imports from the Middle East increased by 3.4% to 97,789 tonnes in 2017, with export tonnage increasing by 2.1% year-on-year to 122,617 tonnes.

Imports from North America were down by 5.6% to 141,714 tonnes year-on-year reflecting changes in regional strategy by some airline partners, whilst North America export volumes were up by 4.4% to 164,509 tonnes.

A total of 496,748 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) flew in 2017, an increase of 3.7% on 2016. >>


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