Schiphol air cargo © Meantime Communications
Schiphol air cargo © Meantime Communications

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Europe’s third busiest airport, has announced its commitment to revive cargo volumes amidst declining global trends. Cargo volumes have been falling consistently in the first half of 2022. After lifting the pandemic travel restrictions, air cargo has just limped back to normalcy, but the pace is slower than expected.

Their total cargo volume for the first half of 2022 plummeted by -13.8% to 721,746 tonnes compared to the corresponding period in 2021.

Anne Marie van Hemert, Head of Aviation Business Development, Schiphol Airport has a positive outlook amidst the downtrend shown in the first half of 2022.


Anne Marie van Hemert, Head of Aviation Business Development, Schiphol Airport | © Meantime Communications

“Schiphol looks forward to remaining an attractive hub and being the most sustainable airport with an efficient cargo flow,” says van Hemert, “Together with our cargo community, we want to shape Europe’s smartest cargo hub.”

“The 2021 and 2022 figures have shown that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is still the airport of choice for logistic companies and their customers. Now that demand for passenger flights has increased, the available airport capacity needs to be shared,”.

Revival Plans

Beginning in 2022, dnata will invest over €200 million in Amsterdam to run one of the biggest, most technologically advanced cargo facilities at the Schiphol Airport.

Dubai National Air Travel Agency, (aka dnata), is an Emirati airport service company that offers ground handling, travel, and flight catering services for aircraft on all five continents.


Schiphol Half-yearly cargo figures 2022 | © Meantime Communications

By 2030, they will make their investments at the new facility in the South-East cargo area to establish seamless cargo processes and zero-emission ground operations.

“In the first half-year, innovation through our Smart Cargo Mainport Program has continued. Automated Nomination has been introduced as the new standard procedure for inbound cargo, which informs customers about incoming shipments before arrival. Going forward, additional measures will be implemented for secure cargo handovers.”

Market Analysis of the Downtrend

The decline in global trends includes uncertainties in global economic development, production and transportation problems in Asia, and the war in Ukraine.

With inward cargo volumes falling by 17.5% to 364,376 tonnes and outward cargo volumes falling by -9.7% to 357,369 tonnes for the first half of 2022 indicates a significant reduction in turnover year-to-year in 2021.

Losing volumes from a major carrier operating out of Russia and the global decline in transported volumes were the main causes of the decline seen in 2022.

  • The volume of goods leaving Schiphol for the Asian region fell by 10.3% to 117,694 tonnes, and the inbound cargo arriving from the region fell by 14.6% to 123,704 tonnes.
  • The North American export market fell by 9.1% to 84,786 tonnes, and the inbound market from this region fell by 10.5% to 58,101 tonnes.
  • The inbound cargo entering the region from Latin America fell by -22.3% to 46,827 tonnes, and the outbound cargo leaving the continent fell by -14.6% to 35,242 tonnes.
  • Inbound cargo from the Middle East market fell by 12.0% to 51,624 tonnes, and outgoing cargo fell by 5.7% to 57,567 tonnes.
  • Outgoing freight declined by 5.7% to 57,567 tonnes while inbound cargo from the Middle East market dropped by 12.0% to 51,624 tonnes.
  • Outbound trade to Africa fell by 3.0% to 21,411 tonnes, while inbound traffic dropped by -12.0% to 41,962 tonnes.

Having received 1.66 million tonnes of cargo in 2021, Schiphol is the fourth-largest air cargo hub in Europe. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol won the Cargo Airport of the Year award in 2021. In order to support the success strategies of the airfreight community, Schiphol initiates and co-creates innovative cargo solutions. They are looking forward to reviving the declining volume with their ambitious project, Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP).

Will the Schiphol Airport be able to bring its cargo volume to unprecedented levels? Share your valuable comments below.


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