Half-year cargo figures for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol show increased throughput year-on-year, with inbound freight tonnage up an average of 29.5% and outbound up 25.7% compared to the first six months of 2020.
In a statement, the gateway noted that it processed 837,671 tonnes of cargo from January to June 2021, up 27.7% on the same period last year, with 572,111 tonnes on freighter flights, up 23.4% on the first half of last year and 265,560 tonnes in bellyhold, up 38.10% on the same period last year.
Pre-pandemic cargo figures for the first six months of 2019 were 385,319 tonnes for inbound and 382,200 tonnes for outbound cargo.
Full freighter flights expand
Full freighter flights for the first six months of 2021 were also up 23.5% year-on-year at 12,691 flights, even as belly-hold flights were down 30.6% at 73,346 flights.
Pre-pandemic figures for the first half of 2019 were 412,372 tonnes carried on 6,938 full freighter flights and 355,147 tonnes carried on 235,169 passenger flights.
Schiphol noted that it has been facing capacity shortages for freighters due to slot restrictions, which the airport is resolving with the Dutch Government and cargo community.
“The figures demonstrate that cargo remains important, not only for Schiphol and its local airfreight community but also for the economy of the Netherlands,” said Anne Marie van Hemert, head of aviation business development. “We seek to find a joint solution to the slot issue.”
New cargo strategy
The results came as van Hemert committed to working with the Schiphol Cargo Community to shape Europe’s ‘smartest cargo hub’, with a new strategy focused on sustainability, efficiency, and digitization.
“It is no secret that the Schiphol Cargo community was facing big challenges before anyone had ever heard of Covid-19,” said van Hemert. “But despite the pandemic, we have continued to work on the issues that matter most to our cargo community, and we are ready to move forward towards a better future for every member of the air cargo chain.”
Cargo team expansion
As the airport turned its focus on cargo, Schiphol also appointed two Cargo Partnership Directors after finalizing a restructure, which has led to the creation of a new Aviation Business Development Division. It noted that Olaf Van Reeden and David Van der Meer have joined Roos Bakker to shape and develop cargo processes at Schiphol.
They report into Hélène van Riemsdijk-Schouten, manager airline and cargo partnerships, who reports to van Hemert.
“The future of Schiphol Cargo will be about collaboration and the Cargo Partnership Directors are focused on re-connecting with the cargo community and moving towards the future with plenty of energy,” said van Riemsdijk-Schouten.
“Our aim is to optimize top connectivity, realize state-of-the-art digitalization, create a green airport, orchestrate seamless cargo processes, and deploy empowered partnerships.”
Under the new strategy, Schiphol noted that it will continue to drive its Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP) and finalize the renewal of Cargonaut’s Port Community System (PCS) over the coming months.
It said going “green” is also one of the airport’s core strategy pillars.