Despite a 15 percent, year-over-year, decline in Asian freight traffic, Schiphol Airport’s first-quarter numbers only dropped modestly from 2011. The Amsterdam airport handled 358,220 tonnes of cargo during the first three months of 2012, a 3-percent, year-over-year, loss.
Offsetting much of the Asian decline was Schiphol’s 53 percent, year-over-year, increase in European imports and exports during the first quarter. The airport also saw improved freight traffic from Latin America and the Middle East during the three-month period, with volumes from these regions surging 6 percent and 5.1 percent, year-over-year, respectively.
Freighter movements were another area of improvement, with the airport welcoming 3,765 of these aircraft movements from January to March — a 2 percent, year-over-year, increase. According to a press release, this number is especially notable since Jade Cargo and other carriers grounded their freighter fleets in December and January.
Unfortunately, sluggish freight volumes out of Asia can’t be overlooked, Enno Osinga, senior vice president of cargo at Schiphol Airport, explained. “Weakness in Asian traffic, which is our largest market, continues to impact overall tonnages through Schiphol,” he said in a statement.
Asia’s position as the top cargo market at Schiphol declined significantly during the first quarter, however, dropping from 40 percent to 36.3 percent, year-over-year. “Meanwhile North American traffic, down 3 percent to 66,045 tonnes, took second place, with 18.4 percent of the total,” according to the press release.
Moving forward, Osinga said he hopes to spread the airport’s cargo business more evenly so that declines in certain regions are less damaging. “We are also examining ways of encouraging increased export business in collaboration with our cargo community,” he said.