AMSTERDAM: January 17, 2017. Schiphol has ended 2016 with record volumes of 1.66 million tonnes of flown cargo, a 2.5 percent year-on-year growth thanks to the pharmaceutical, e-commerce and perishables sectors.
Asia remaining as Schiphol's largest market last year with Shanghai its busiest destination and direct flights launched to Xi'an and Ningbo, China.
Cargo throughput was up 1.8 percent between January and November to 1.51 million tonnes. December traffic rose 10.4 percent to 149,000 tonnes compared to the same month in 2015.
Noting the launch of initiatives in support of pharma, e-commerce, and perishables customers during the year had produced "positive results", cargo director Jonas van Stekelenburg added:
"We had a strong start to 2016 due to several new carriers making use of Schiphol, and expansion by existing players, and there was an increase in traffic levels in the second half of the year resulting in a total tonnage that surpassed our expectations – an all-time record of 1.66 million tonnes of cargo."
Stekelenburg attributed the rise to outbound and inbound e-commerce shipments: "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 developing Asian market."
Reporting by region, Schiphol saw Africa inbound volume grow two percent to 117,556 tonnes in 2016 while outbound traffic fell 11 percent to 54,684 tonnes. Middle East import tonnage was up five percent compared to 2015 at 94,607 tonnes, with outbound traffic remaining static at 120,111 tonnes.
Flower imports from Quito, Ecuador contributed to an 11 percent increase in Latin America inbound cargo to 101,706 tonnes, as export traffic fell 12 percent to 75,125 tonnes due to less capacity on routes to Miami and South America.
North America saw a one percent slide in exports to 157,621 tonnes year-on-year due to a drop in belly volume, while imports rose two percent to 150,172 tonnes due to an increase in flights said van Stekelenburg, who added the airport was "very encouraged" by the results and expects more growth this year.