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Streamlined Schiphol speeds the freight The colossus of world trade

34 is never-ending

Benelux is made for logistics. Not only is it the gateway to Europe, but it sits astride two of the world’s great trading lanes – Asia/Europe and the Transatlantic. And these are countries whose governments take logistics seriously.

Building work on and around the Netherlands’ main air gateway, Schiphol


perhaps the most interesting potential development is a current feasibility study into a central pick-up and drop-off point (CPD), says senior vice-president cargo, Enno Osinga. This would create a single

landside interface for deliveries and collections of airfreight to and from all carriers, eliminating the inefficient and wasteful current process of forwarders’ trucks joining multiple queues at the various handlers, or forwarders using multiple vehicles to cope with limited delivery windows, where one truck should be sufficient. Schiphol’s total tonnage from

January-April was 514,684 tonnes, down 2.5% on the same period in 2014. The fall was entirely due to reduced full freighter traffic – bellyhold volume was stable year on year. The fall in early 2015 was mainly due to reduced Chinese exports, because of the strong

Yuan and reduced output. Osinga points out: “China is our largest market, so has an immediately obvious impact on our figures. But on a rolling year basis, traffic is up 4.4%. North American traffic (our second largest market) has been strong, and on a rolling year basis, exports are up 16% and imports up 6%.” A number of carriers have

increased their frequencies and traffic. There have been no new carriers to date this year, but Martinair freighters have been cancelled since April. However, says Osinga, “we expect that this loss of capacity will be replaced by other carriers in due course.” He is convinced that Schiphol will maintain its competitive advantage as a freight airport. “Our major edge is in having successfully optimised cargo processing to enhance the customer experience, and we continue to work hard with our community, Customs and regulatory bodies to ensure that we increase speed and efficiency,

selling points is that it allows logistics firms to have their own airside sheds. “The provision of first-line accommodation, for all supply chain parties who require it, is an established concept that various members of our community have taken up, and can now adapt to suit their particular needs. We support all moves to take time, paper and inefficiency out of the supply chain.” Enno Osinga is to retire in

reduce processing costs and delays, and maintain total security. “Beyond that, Schiphol is the

only major European gateway that has the available land to encourage the growth of adjacent logistics parks. We also have an impressive array of international air services, providing excellent global

reach, and combining

the capacity of freighters and the frequency of scheduled passenger services.” Also: “We have done a great deal of work on streamlining

cargo handling processes, and this has been very successful (for example, eLink reduces handling times by up to 25%) and is widely recognised in the industry.” Many airports are beginning

to copy the Schiphol model, and

Osinga welcomes this

as it contributes to a stronger and better air cargo industry. “However, we have a reputation for leading rather than following; and our constant focus on innovation – such as the CPD study - is likely to keep us ahead.” Another of Schiphol’s unique

September 2015 but he will have a worthy successor in Jonas van Stekelenburg, who has lately

worked on sustainability, energy efficiency and carbon reduction certification, as well as establishing the Mainport Innovation Fund. Enno Osinga states: “Given

my successor’s track record in innovation and sustainability,


would be reasonable to expect these elements to feature even more strongly in future cargo plans and policies.

Jonas will

make a detailed assessment of what we have achieved to date, and identify how he can lead the team to build on that. I am sure that, whatever direction that takes, it will be the right one.”

Springboard into Europe for AMI

The Netherlands is the second office on the Continent for freight and express wholesaler, AMI. The opening of an operation at

Schiphol was driven by several factors, says vice-president for Continental Europe Rinaldo Vels. “Firstly, it enables us to further develop the AMI global network, covering an additional key airfreight market. We are now present in Europe’s top three airfreight markets.” (AMI Frankfurt has already operated for a number of years, covering the German market.) “It also means we can utilise

Amsterdam’s impressive worldwide connections, as Europe’s third largest cargo gateway. And, as Schiphol has more freighter services than any other European airport, it adds very useful additional maindeck capacity options, giving us greater flexibility to serve our customers’ needs. “Lastly, Amsterdam has

excellent trucking connections with all European countries, meaning we have the ability not just to serve the Dutch market, but to provide a gateway for all major European markets. This fits well with our service portfolio that includes airport-to-airport,

Issue 5 2015 - Freight Business Journal


door-to-airport, airport-to-door and door-to-door options.” Schiphol, then, is a springboard

to tap into the wider European market. “It brings us closer to our next goals of further offices on the European Continent, in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe,” says Rinaldo Vels. AMI currently outsources

its physical handling at the Netherlands gateway. This includes build up or break down of pallets and containers, receiving and hand-out of cargo, and X-ray scanning. “The calibre of service has been first class,” says Vels who concludes: “We are increasing our sales activities strongly within the Benelux region, to introduce our 100% neutral airfreight wholesale concept as a means of connecting cost-effectively with the rest of the world. At present, our Amsterdam office covers our requirements.”

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