As the year-end data starts to flow, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport joins a list of cargo handlers and carriers that saw their volumes surge back into profitability in 2016, after a lean start to the year. With a throughput of 1.66 million tonnes, up 2.5 percent over 2015, Schiphol set a new annual record for cargo lift, which benefited from specialty shipments and a general rise in e-commerce.
December closed strong, up 10.4 percent, year-over-year, to 149,000 tonnes – enough to push the airport’s 11-month 1.8 percent, y-o-y, increase up another 0.7 percentage points to 2.5 percent.
Schiphol’s cargo volume declined by 0.7 percent in 2015, to 1.62 million tonnes, partly due to “the declining transport flows to Asia and Russia.” Thus, the increase in 2016 is also a reflection on the previous year’s dismal numbers, but it remains to be seen how far the trend will carry into 2017.
Schiphol has launched initiatives aimed at supporting the growth of its e-commerce, pharmaceutical and perishables goods customers. “Our continued commitment to quality is having positive results,” said cargo director Jonas van Stekelenburg.
Asia remains Schiphol’s largest market, with Shanghai being the busiest destination. The airport also launched two new direct flights to Xi’an and Ningbo, both in China. However, for the greater Asian market, final figures were down 5 percent inbound and 7 percent outbound, to 290,313 tonnes and 290,560 tonnes, respectively.
“The upswing in e-commerce shipments, both inbound and outbound, were a large contributor to the cargo volumes for this market,” said van Stekelenburg.
Schiphol’s numbers are still preliminary at this point, and the airport noted that, “definitive figures will be disclosed upon publication of the financial statements on 17 February 2017.” A separate release out earlier this week pegged cargo volumes higher, at 1.7 million tonnes, and called the increase at 1.8 percent.