Cargo volumes at Schiphol top a record 866,713 tonnes from January to June 2017, up 8.7 per cent year-on-year, thanks to Community initiatives to keep cargo moving through Europe’s third busiest freight hub Cargo volumes at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol grew 8.7 per cent to 866,713 tonnes between January and June 2017, up from 797,069 tonnes during the same period in 2016. Europe’s third busiest hub welcomed an additional 153 full freighter flights in the first half of the year, making a total number of 8,954 freight ATMs, and handled a record 148,765 tonnes in June, up 9.8 per cent on June 2016 figures of 135,528 tonnes. Volumes to the Far East grew to 27,706 tonnes in June 2017, up 15 per cent on June 2016 figures of 24,091 tonnes, with inbound Far East volumes reaching 26,511 tonnes in the same month, up 14.1 per cent on June 2016 figures of 23,230 tonnes. Half-year figures for the Far East were 154,866 tonnes for outbound, up 12.2 per cent on the same period in 2016, with inbound figures at 149,836 tonnes, up 8.3 per cent on the same period in 2016. “The Schiphol Cargo Community has worked on a series of new initiatives this year, which demonstrate our commitment to delivering safe and efficient cargo products, and our excellent first half-year performance is the result of this collaboration,” said Jonas van Stekelenburg, Head of Cargo, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. “We are pleased that our continued focus on developing innovative solutions, such as our Compliance Checker and the Milkrun, for our growing base of e-Commerce and pharma customers has helped to deliver strong growth in the first half of the year. “Our commitment to quality initiatives, such as the Pharma Gateway Amsterdam programme, has ensured that Schiphol remains one of the fastest growing cargo hubs in Europe.” Schiphol’s new Compliance Checker, launched in May, speeds up cargo flows by detecting data errors and Customs compliance errors in air waybills will help boost e-Commerce flows through the hub. The Community has also recently secured a one million EUR grant to start developing a Pharma Incursion Alerter, an early warning system for shippers, and a pilot phase for the scheme is currently being planned. In addition, Air Cargo Netherlands' Milkrun initiative, launched in May 2015, became fully operational last month, without the need of a project manager after a successful pilot phase. Milkrun partners have established a programme of sharing transportation: single deliveries from handling agents are delivered to multiple forwarder facilities, reducing CO2 emissions and cutting truck queues. Pieter-Bas Braam, Chairman of the Milkrun Working Group, said; “I am proud that the Milkrun project has become a fully operational scheme, which is already benefitting the Cargo Community at Schiphol.” Schiphol’s biggest market is Europe, with June 2017 inbound volumes at 11,217 tonnes, up 25 per cent on 2016, and June 2017 outbound figures at 11,450 tonnes, up 41.8 per cent on June 2016 figures. Europe inbound figures for January to June 2017 were 60,320 tonnes, up 29.1 per cent on the same period in 2016, with Europe outbound figures at 61,641 tonnes from January to June 2017, up 39.2 per cent on the first half of 2016. This strong growth is the result of Asian cargo, which transits Baku, Azerbaijan, and Moscow, Russia, to and from the Far East and Amsterdam. A strong flower trade led to inbound Latin America volumes for January to June 2017 of 59,817 tonnes, up 31.4 per cent on the same period in 2016. Exports for January to June 2017 were 35,275 tonnes, a 6.3 per cent decrease on January to June 2016. Latin American June 2017 tonnage was 8,722 for inbound, up 15.2 per cent on the same month last year, with outbound tonnage at 6,535, up 6.1 per cent on June 2016. Imports from Africa for January to June 2017 were down 3.5 per cent year-on-year to 59,409 tonnes, and exports to the region were down 15.3 per cent to 24,902 tonnes for the same period. North American imports were up 1.7 per cent in June 2017 to 12,278 tonnes, suggesting a turnaround on the overall dip of 6.3 per cent year-on-year for January to June 2017 to 72,739 during the year to date overall. Exports to the region continued to rise with an 0.8 per cent year-on-year increase to 14,208 tonnes in June 2017 compared to June 2016 figures of 14,099 tonnes, building on a 10.5 per cent increase from 74,556 tonnes in the first six months of 2016, to 82,379 tonnes for the January to June 2017 period. Inbound Middle East figures for January to June 2017 were 43,557 tonnes, down 4.4 per cent on 2016 figures for the same period, with outbound figures to the region for the first half of the year at 61,973 tonnes, up seven per cent on the same period in 2016, when 57,899 tonnes were recorded.