Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport is seeking to streamline cargo operations and reduce CO2 emissions at the same time via a new “Milk Run” concept that would consolidate multiple inbound trips into a single delivery.
This new configuration, in which a handling agent arranges one truck run to multiple forwarders’ warehouses, reduces the number of trucks driving on or around the airport, which also shortens wait times, improves service for forwarders and allows them to use their trucks for other business. In theory, the Milk Run would also cut C02 emissions, as fewer trucks would need to idle in long lines.
The program comes from a partnership between Air Cargo Netherlands, the nation’s air cargo association, and members of the Amsterdam-Schiphol logistics community.
Currently undergoing proving trails at Schiphol, the new Milk Run is being managed by ground handling agent Menzies, in coordination with Bos Logistics, which provides the collection and delivery service on behalf of Menzies. Other partners in the new service include DHL, Panalpina, Nippon Express and community system provider Cargonaut. Another ten forwarders are expected to take part in later trials.
The number of vehicles used to handle the import traffic between the participants has already been reduced by 30 percent since the trials began, with load factors increasing from an average 25 percent to over 60 percent. The Milk Run pilot will run until the end of 2015, when a full evaluation will take place. If the trial is considered a success, the eventual goal is to operate a similar facility for export cargo.
The Milk Run system will also incorporate an online portal that enables all participants to monitor their shipments prior to arrival at Schiphol, until the freight is delivered to the forwarder’s door.
“The Milk Run is already exceeding our expectations, freeing up our vehicles and drivers, and giving us earlier access to import freight,” said Dimitri Brink, business unit manager in Amsterdam for Panalpina. “If this success can be extended to all imports through Schiphol, it will score yet another advantage for the airport in its role as a major gateway for Europe.”