Schiphol’s cargo volume drop “in keeping with the market”
15 / 09 / 2023
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport saw its cargo volumes fall 6% in the first six months of the year “in-keeping with global trends for normalising cargo volumes”.
The airport handled a total of 679,214 tonnes during the period with 64% of the total accounted for by full-freighter flights.
“When you compare our figures to the wider picture across Europe, you’ll find that Schiphol Airport has weathered global challenges quite well,” said Joost van Doesburg, head of cargo, Royal Schiphol Group.
Van Doesburg pointed out that IATA stats show that the total air cargo market in Europe decreased by 10.2% over the same period.
The airport’s strongest performing origins for imports were Asia, which was up 13% on last year, the Middle East (3%) and volumes from Latin America increased 7%.
“Schiphol’s Q2 figures show that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is still a key gateway into Europe for air cargo and, despite a difficult period for the global industry, we are starting to see our volumes stabilise,” added van Doesburg.
The return of belly operations has once again put pressure on the number of freighter flights that can be handled at the airport due to flight limitations.
This has resulted in freighter flights falling as the year has progressed.
The total amount of full freighter flights in the second quarter was 9% down on last year, but still 17.8% higher than in 2019.
Van Doesburg added: “More freighters would like to fly to Schiphol, but our slots are full, and ad-hoc slots have decreased significantly compared to last year – this is the biggest factor behind the tonnage loss.
“However, our limited freight slots have also driven us to become more stable than other European hubs, shifting our focus to streamlining and focusing our operations.”
“We remain focused on air cargo and are planning measures to secure freighter slots to ensure they cannot be swapped into passenger slots.”
Elsewhere, the airport is investing in its new Port Community System and recently signed up to a new online information portal, Secure Import, aimed at tightening cargo security.
The airport has also hit the headlines in recent months over an ongoing dispute over future flight numbers.
The government is aiming to reduce the number of flights Schiphol can handle to reduce noise pollution and emissions.
However, airlines are objecting on the grounds that the government has failed to follow proper procedure.