Schiphol Airport reported a dip in air cargo volumes for the first half of the year, reflecting the global slowdown in the industry.
Europe's fourth largest air cargo hub, however, has signalled its commitment to boosting the segment as it seeks to become a multimodal hub for cargo entering the region.
In a statement, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol said it processed 679,214 tonnes of cargo in the first six months of 2023, a dip of 6% compared with the same period in 2022.
The decline reflects global trends for normalizing cargo volumes following months of ongoing decline, it added.
Full freighter flights accounted for 64% of the total throughput at the airport, equating to 431,315 tonnes of cargo.
"The airport's Q2 figures show freight volumes stabilizing following months of continued decline across the global air cargo industry," the airport said.
Of the total cargo volumes in the first half of 2023, 247,899 tonnes comprised belly cargo, representing 36% of all cargo processed, and a 1% drop compared with half-one (H1) 2022.
Schiphol Airport's inbound cargo volumes saw an overall increase on certain trade lanes in H1 2023, with cargo inbound from Asia up 13% compared with H1 2022, volumes from the Middle East up by 3%, and cargo arriving from Latin America up by 7%.
[Source: Schiphol Airport]
"When you compare our figures to the wider picture across Europe, you'll find that Schiphol Airport has weathered global challenges quite well," said Joost van Doesburg, head of cargo, Royal Schiphol Group.
"According to IATA, the total air cargo market in Europe saw a 10.2% decrease — here at Schiphol, we had a significantly lower drop of 6%," he added.
Schiphol — one of Europe's busiest cargo hubs — welcomed 1.66 million tonnes of cargo in 2021.
Focus on air cargo
"We remain focused on air cargo and are planning measures to secure freighter slots to ensure they cannot be swapped into passenger slots," van Doesburg added.
"We continue to work together with the Dutch air cargo community and invest heavily in our new Port Community System to make it a state of the art as we look to become an efficient multimodal hub for European cargo, focusing on quality over quantity," he added.
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.