Schiphol’s exports to Central and South America also grew in 2011, increasing 9.4 percent, year-over-year, to 83,941 tonnes. “Figures for Europe were also positive, but were distorted by the re-categorization of AirBridge as a European carrier mid-year,” according to a press release.
Overall, Schiphol handled 1,523,806 tonnes of cargo in 2011, a, year-over-year, increase of 0.8 percent. Freight levels improved in five months of the year, but saw declines of up to 7.2 percent in the other seven months of 2011, according to the press release. Nevertheless, Schiphol’s cargo volumes to and from Europe increased considerably throughout the year, surging 33 percent from 2010.
The Far East was a completely different story. Schiphol’s imports and exports to and from this region dropped significantly last year, declining 12.9 percent and 7.3 percent, year-over-year, respectively.
Schiphol Cargo Senior Vice President Enno Osinga said these losses greatly affected the airport’s performance in 2011. “As the Far East is our largest market and accounts for some 40 percent of our total tonnages, even modest falls in its traffic are difficult to offset with growth in other markets,” he said in a statement. “It’s clear that inbound traffic from the Far East is soft, and likely to remain so for a while.”
Schiphol’s focus for 2012, Osinga said, is achieving export growth and increasing commodity traffic. “With a weak euro and growing consumer spending in many markets outside Europe, we hope to pave the way for a return to stronger overall growth,” he said in a statement. “Meanwhile we continue with our various investments, initiatives and partnerships, all aiming at reinforcing Schiphol’s position as the preferred cargo gateway for Europe.”