Schiphol Airport H1 cargo volumes down 6%

Schiphol Airport’s Q2 figures show freight stabilising following months of decline across global air cargo industry

Schiphol Airport H1 cargo volumes down 6%

Joost van Doesburg, Head of Cargo, Royal Schiphol Group

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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol processed 679,214 tonnes of cargo in the first six months of 2023, a dip of six percent compared with the same period in 2022, in line with the global trends for normalising cargo volumes following months of ongoing decline.

Full freighter flights accounted for 64 percent of total throughput at the airport, equating to 431,315 tonnes of cargo, says an official release.

“When you compare our figures to the wider picture across Europe, you’ll find that Schiphol Airport has weathered global challenges quite well,” says Joost van Doesburg, Head of Cargo, Royal Schiphol Group. “According to IATA, the total air cargo market in Europe saw a 10.2 percent decrease – here at Schiphol, we had a significantly lower drop of 6 percent.”

Of the total cargo volumes in the first half of 2023, 247,899 tonnes comprised belly cargo, representing 36 percent of all cargo processed, and a one percent drop compared with H12022.

Schiphol Airport’s inbound cargo volumes saw an overall increase on certain trade lanes in H12023 with cargo inbound from Asia up 13 percent compared with H1 2022, volumes from the Middle East up by three percent, and cargo arriving from Latin America up by seven percent.

“Schiphol’s Q2 figures show that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is still a key gateway into Europe for air cargo, and despite a difficult period for the global industry, we are starting to see our volumes stabilise,” adds van Doesburg. “More freighters would like to fly to Schiphol but our slots are full, and ad-hoc slots have decreased significantly compared to last year – this is the biggest factor behind the tonnage loss. However, our limited freight slots have also driven us to become more stable than other European hubs, shifting our focus to streamlining and focusing our operations.”

Cargo transported by passenger flights in the second quarter of 2023 increased marginally (0.6 percent) compared to the same quarter in 2022 but was down 27 percent compared to the pre-Covid Q2 in 2019, owing to fewer flights and lower cargo volumes. The total number of full freighter flights in Q2 was nine percent lower than last year but 18 percent higher than in 2019.

“We remain focused on air cargo and are planning measures to secure freighter slots to ensure they cannot be swapped into passenger slots. We continue to work together with the Dutch air cargo community and invest heavily in our new Port Community System to make it state-of-the-art as we look to become an efficient multimodal hub for European cargo, focusing on quality over quantity.”

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol recently signed up to a new online information portal, Secure Import, aimed at tightening cargo security in and around the hub, and is developing a fully automated cargo centre, dnata Cargo City Amsterdam, due to launch in 2024, the release added.

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