Schiphol airport’s cargo volume slips 8 percent in 2020

Amsterdam’s airport saw Shanghai, Doha and Chicago as the three biggest destinations for cargo tonnage in 2020.


Air & Cargo Services air cargo Air Cargo Asia air cargo freight Air Forwarding air freight Air Freight Asia Air Freight Logistics air freighter air freighting Air Logistics Asia Air Shipping Asia airlines cargo airways cargo Amsterdam Airport Schiphol asia cargo news cargo aviation Cargonaut Circular Plastics Alliance Patricia Vitalis


Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s total cargo volume for 2020 declined by 8 percent to 1.44 million tonnes compared to 2019.

Last year’s freight volumes were shipped in three categories of flights, the airport noted. Full freighters accounted for 61 percent of total volume, whilst passenger flights with belly space as well as passenger flights with only freight on board (pax-cargo-only) accounted for 29 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Inbound cargo volumes dropped by 4.7 percent to 754,361 tonnes in 2020 compared to 2019, and outbound cargo volumes fell 11.7 percent to 687,161 tonnes during the same period.

The three biggest destinations for cargo tonnage were Shanghai, Doha and Chicago.

Also read: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s cargo volume slips despite more freighter flights

“The 2020 figures are in line with our expectations given the challenging year we all had to face,” said Patricia Vitalis, incoming Director Airport Operations and Aviation Partnerships.

Schiphol airport saw outbound traffic drop across regions, with Asia down 8.21 percent to 238,889 tonnes in 2020 compared to 2019. Meanwhile, inbound cargo volume declined 0.58 percent to 266,688 tonnes.

The outbound North American market fell 8.27 percent to 150,988 tonnes, whilst inbound was down 9.72 percent to 101,132 tonnes. Cargo inbound to Latin America declined 10.84 percent to 102,983 tonnes and outbound dropped 4.28 percent to 72,899 tonnes.

European figures show outbound traffic fell 28.62 percent to 85,395 tonnes and inbound increased 0.01 percent to 106,487 tonnes. The Middle East market inbound showed a positive story as inbound was up 8.51 percent to 101,014 tonnes, but outbound was down 9.28 percent to 96,321 tonnes.

Outbound traffic to Africa was down 17.67 percent to 42,669 tonnes and inbound declined 21 percent to 76,057 tonnes.

Schiphol airport saw flower imports from Africa dip in the first half of the year, but stabilised later in the year. As part of its sustainability efforts, the airport joined the Circular Plastics Alliance and introduced standardised box sizes for flower consignments. This is expected to reduce the importers’ carbon footprint by 25 percent, whilst increasing their profitability by 25 percent.

“I am proud of our cargo community and our team at Schiphol, who have worked hard to continue supporting our customers through the pandemic in a constantly changing business landscape and for providing new routes for new cargo airlines to transport essential PPE consignments,” Vitalis noted.

“The cargo community at Schiphol has focused on collaboration to find solutions including the launch of Vaccines Gateway Netherlands, which is a task force of more than 60 companies providing the swift, secure, and safe transportation of the COVID-19 vaccines,” she added.

Last year, the airport accelerated its Smart Cargo Mainport Program to ensure faster handling of export cargo. All ground handlers at Schiphol are ready for digital and/or electronic pre-notification starting January 2021.

Moving forward the airport’s cargo division will be under the newly established Aviation Business Development Division, as the airport continues to modernise Cargonaut’s Port Community System to connect stakeholders with relevant airport cargo information.



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