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Schiphol sees cargo growth beyond electronics

By Staff Reports on January 17, 2014

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol experienced 3.2 percent growth in cargo traffic in 2013, with a total of 1,531,089 tonnes, coming close to the airport’s all-time record set in 2007.

The final quarter was, as usual, the best of the year, with a total of 410,698 tonnes (up 8 percent compared 2012). It also saw a return of the traditional pre-Christmas peak in traffic.

Schiphol also witnessed a strengthening in its Asia business in 2013, up 7.1 percent to 601,442 tonnes, which represented an almost 40 percent share of all cargo traffic. This allowed Asia to retain its traditional top ranking, followed by North America (16.6 percent share), the Middle East (12.9 percent), Latin America (11.2 percent, overtaking Africa for fourth place), Africa (11 percent) and Europe (9 percent).

Exports and imports remained in close balance in 2013, with 50.86 percent and 49.14 percent shares of the total, respectively.

“These results show that we have turned the corner in 2013,” Enno Osinga, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s senior vice president cargo, said. “Although the very high volumes of the most recent months have been driven mainly by electronics, and new products such as the Xbox2 and PlayStation 4, there has also been an underlying increase in general cargo since the middle of 2013, which gives us confidence that we are in a long-term recovery.”

Freighter movements rose 0.5 percent to 15,623 for the year, with most growth occurring in the final quarter (up 6.1 percent compared to 2012) as carriers introduced extra capacity to meet rising demand.

“The fact that not all surrounding airports have shown similar healthy growth is an indication that Schiphol has strengthened its position in the market. But we would like to see volume increases at all European airports, as a sign of true economic recovery,” Osinga said. “Meanwhile, modal shift cannot be ignored. Greater efficiency, speed and accuracy, achieved through streamlined processes, are the only ways in which we can reassert the industry’s role and assure its future – which is why Schiphol Cargo and its logistics community continue to invest so much effort and resource in improving the customer experience.”