Schiphol and Atlanta collaborate on cargo trade alliance

From left to right: Ben Harris, director, supply chain ecosystem expansion, Metro Atlanta Chamber; Bart Pouwels, head of cargo, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol; Elliott Paige, director of air service development, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Amar More, director, Kale Logistics; Nanne Onland, chief executive, Cargonaut

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to promote cargo trade and investment between the city of Atlanta, Georgia, and Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The MoU between the two air cargo hubs was announced at Air Cargo Europe, which is currently taking place in Munich, Germany, alongside the transport logistic trade fair.

The agreement will see an exchange of data between the two cargo hubs in order to facilitate end-to-end planning and capacity optimisation, extend the benefits of the Amsterdam Cargo Community system to Atlanta, and boost trade flows between the respective air cargo gateways.

“This collaborative agreement will enable us to promote the benefits of strengthening the Netherlands as a gateway to Europe, and Atlanta Airport as a gateway to the Atlantic, the Midwest, and the South of the USA,” informed Bart Pouwels, head of cargo at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

“Not only is this good news for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol by expanding our Cargo Community with Atlanta, but it will also benefit the economy of the Netherlands by further establishing Schiphol’s Mainport hub role,” he pointed out.

From September this year and throughout 2020, the two airport operators will work on the formation of an Atlanta Cargo Network, with the aim to increase exports from Atlanta to Amsterdam of agricultural and manufacturing goods produced in Georgia.

Success or otherwise in this regard will be measured by an economic impact assessment study due in 2021.

“Hartsfield-Jackson, the busiest and most efficient passenger airport in the world, is looking to expand its cargo footprint,” explained Elliott Paige, director of air service development at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“This collaboration will allow us to create a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship with Schiphol and, by extension, the Netherlands, a nation that has well over a thousand years of history in successful trade experience.”

The agreement is expected to connect the key cargo operators and logistics providers at both gateways in order to further strengthen the new trade and logistics corridor. That process will be supported by Cargonaut, which operates the Cargo Community Information Platform at Schiphol.

“At AMS [Amsterdam Airport Schiphol], the collaboration between the logistics partners strengthen Schiphol to improve its global competitiveness, and a combination of Public-Private partnership with digital information exchange enables Schiphol to maintain and improve a fully transparent, safe, and secure air cargo chain,” said Nanne Onland, Cargonaut’s chief executive.

“By working together, we create an internationally connected hub, ensuring a fast and efficient flow of goods by sharing data, optimising processes, and collaborating with our partners based upon agreements.”

Across the Atlantic, Atlanta is working with Kale Logistics Solutions, a provider of logistics technology solutions headquartered in Mumbai, India, and the air freight community in Atlanta to create a new airport cargo community system.

“Atlanta Airport and the air freight community in Atlanta have started the pioneering work of creating North America’s first next-generation airport cargo community system,” observed Amar More, director at Kale Logistics Solutions.

“The next-gen platform goes beyond the traditional message exchange systems and aims to integrate the whole air freight supply chain from exporter to importer, thereby creating efficiency, transparency, and security in the supply chain.

“This community system also has the capability to link to the partner airport communities through digital corridors and illuminate the end-to-end shipment journey,” Moore added.

The collaborative agreement with Atlanta coincides with Schiphol’s ongoing Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP), which is being rolled out across Amsterdam, and, together with the Cargo Community, focuses on sharing data and other collaborative initiatives to optimise air cargo flows.

Amongst other initiatives, SCMP is working on optimising landside logistics in terms of landside pick-up and delivery to ensure seamless transport of cargo by road and air; on Automated Nomination to utilise smart software algorithms to speed up the nomination of pallets of cargo to its next destination, and the Compliance Checker, a digital tool developed by Cargonaut to facilitate customs and border security procedures at Schiphol.

In 2018, Schiphol handled 1.7 million tonnes of cargo, retaining its position as Europe’s third largest air cargo hub.

Hartsfield-Jackson is a key airfreight hub in the US South (as well as being the world’s busiest airport in terms of passenger volumes). It has three main air cargo complexes: North, Midfield and South, a Perishables Complex and a USDA Propagated Plant Inspection Station.

The total on-airport air cargo warehouse space measures 29.8 acres (12.1 hectares) or 1.3 million square feet. There are 28 parking positions for cargo aircraft, 19 at the airport’s North complex and nine at its South complex.

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