Apr 28, 2017: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has recorded a strong first quarter in 2017, handling a record 420,168 tonnes from January to March, up eight percent on the same period last year.

March figures grew 9.5 percent to 154,000 tonnes as a result of a 7.2 percent growth in full freighter volume and a very high belly volume growth at 13.2 percent.

Jonas van Stekelenburg, head of Cargo, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, said, "We are very pleased that our commitment to enhancing the experience of our pharmaceutical, e-Commerce, and perishables customers, and our continued commitment to quality and transparency in the supply chain is leading to further growth, especially in the Asia and Europe markets."

"Our pharma initiatives have to lead to boosted pharma volumes both inbound and outbound to the USA, South America, and Asia, and we will continue to work with the Schiphol Cargo Community to develop this further."

"Unfortunately, the growth in the Latin American and African regions is a bit behind."

Asia remains the largest market for the Dutch hub, with figures up four percent on inbound to 70,648 tonnes, and 12 percent to 74, 332 tonnes on outbound, with Shanghai, China, remaining the busiest cargo destination.

The European market grew due to new cargo flows across Europe, where cargo transits at hubs such as Baku, Azerbaijan, and Moscow, Russia en route to final destinations in Asia.

"As a large number of flights now transit Europe en route to China, we can attribute a proportion of the growth in our European figures to the Asian market," said van Stekelenburg.

A decrease in full freighter volumes on inbound cargo from North America lead to a six percent decrease in volume to 36,422 tonnes, but exports to the same market were up 12 percent to 38,666 tonnes due to increased full freighter and belly volumes.

Asia, due to its growing economy, saw both inbound and outbound cargo volumes inflate, up four percent to 70,648 tonnes, and 12 percent to 74,332 tonnes respectively.

Africa inbound and outbound cargo capacity was down due to decreased capacity – five percent to 30,319 tonnes, and 16 percent to 12,364 tonnes respectively.

The Middle East saw an inbound decrease of four percent to 21,723 tonnes, while outbound went up 13 percent to 31,910 tonnes.

Latin America outbound cargo was down 15 percent to 15,855 tonnes due to decreased freighter capacity. However, inbound volume was up 31 percent to 30,952 tonnes.

Schiphol's 7.2 percent growth over January and February puts the airport in strong standing in Europe, outperforming neighbouring cargo hubs.

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