Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cargo Figures Claimed as Success by Third Largest European Freight Airport

Schiphol Tonnages Down but Compare Well with Rest of Sector
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam’s Schiphol announced freight throughput figures this week and, despite an overall drop, management executives say these are a clear demonstration that policies at Europe’s third largest cargo airport are paying dividends as compared with the competition in a difficult market. In the first six months of 2012, at a time many were desperately seeking to avoid major falls on poor traffic levels, Schiphol managed a marginal increase of 0.5% to 7,636 freighter flights.

Overall tonnages were down 3.2% to 729,174 tonnes, average for Europe, with exports holding up slightly better than imports, as is to be expected with the Eurozone’s currency difficulties making the former more attractive. Exports accounted for 48.7% of the total whilst imports fell 3.5% in the period. June was the second positive month of 2012 to date, up 0.4% on 2011, marking the continuation of a three-month recovering trend.

The Far East remained Schiphol’s top market, with a 38.61% share of the total in the second quarter – but still 11.48% down on 2011, and below its average 40% share for the previous year. The USA also held overall figures back, with a total of 130,796 tonnes - 6.8% below 2011 figures. European figures, which now include Airbridgecargo flights via Moscow, continued to show strong growth in the period January-June, up 53% on 2011. European traffic has climbed every month of 2012 to date, continuing the pattern of 2011. Commenting on the year to date, Senior VP Cargo Enno Osinga, said:

“Although our total tonnages are slightly down on 2011, ours is the strongest performance among Europe’s top three cargo airports, and better than the entire European market which was down 4.9% up to May. 2012 is displaying less dramatic peaks and troughs than 2011, and the year is shaping up slightly more positively for us than we expected. The feedback from our airline customers is also generally more optimistic than it was.

“The economic factors which currently affect air cargo tonnages are beyond our control, so we are focusing increasingly on the longer term and ways in which we can positively influence our business in the future. Our various plans and initiatives to further improve efficiency and speed of cargo flows through Schiphol are already showing tangible results. These, along with the programmed investments in multi-modal infrastructure around Schiphol, will ensure it remains the airport of choice for cargo entering and leaving northern Europe.”

Photo: Schiphol’s Enno Osinga