Belly cargo up as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol remains third largest air cargo hub in Europe

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol retains its position as Europe’s third largest air cargo hub as 2018 figures show a mixed year of growth and retraction

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Thursday 31st January 2019 – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AAS) has reported a 4.1 per cent increase in total belly cargo and an average decrease of 2.5 per cent in overall freight volumes in 2018 figures.

AAS remains Europe’s third largest air cargo hub after reporting freight volumes of 1.7 million tonnes in 2018, despite total full freighter movements decreasing by 10.4 per cent, and total full freighter volumes down by seven per cent.

Total flight movements at AAS were 499,444, just below the slot capacity of 500,000, with that figure expected to remain steady throughout 2019.

“In 2018, despite a slight decrease in overall freight volumes, we built on a number of initiatives that enhance the experience of our pharmaceutical, e-commerce, and perishables customers, and our continued commitment to quality is having positive results,” said Maaike van der Windt, Director Aviation Marketing, Cargo and Customer Experience, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

“We experienced a year of ups and downs in 2018, and in 2019 we will continue to focus on close collaboration with our cargo community through the Smart Cargo Mainport Program to pursue ambitions such as an increase in digital information exchange and quality improvements in the supply chain.”

Asia remained the largest market at AAS with Shanghai, China, as the busiest destination.

In 2018, Asia inbound volumes ended at 299,110 tonnes, and outbound figures at 302,994 tonnes, a decrease of 1.08 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively, compared to 2017.

E-commerce shipments remained a large contributor to the volumes in the Asia market.

Europe’s figures were down by 6.9 per cent to 116,359 tonnes for inbound, and outbound figures decreased by 1.18 per cent to 122,489 tonnes.

The Middle Eastern market decreased by 9.06 per cent inbound and 10.02 per cent outbound, resulting in respectively 88,932 and 110,333 tonnes in volume.

The Africa inbound volume decreased by 1.3 per cent to 112,361 tonnes, but nevertheless outbound volumes to Africa were up by 3.21 per cent at 53,402 tonnes.

Inbound cargo from Latin America was up 5.48 per cent to 130,295 tonnes, and outbound cargo grew by 6.23 per cent to 81,265 tonnes.

Imports from North America were down 8.38 per cent to 130,624 tonnes year-on-year, whilst the North America export volume was up 2.1 per cent at 168,333 tonnes.

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Maaike van der Windt

Maaike van der windt, Director Aviation Marketing, Cargo and Customer Experience, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.


Schiphol is Europe’s third largest air cargo hub, and welcomed 1.7 million tonnes of cargo in 2018.

Schiphol initiates and co-creates smart cargo solutions to help the airfreight community excel at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. One such initiative is the Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP) in which Schiphol, together with supply chain partners, aims to integrate data and digitalise the air cargo supply chain by optimising landside processes and launching new innovations.

Schiphol and its cargo community launched Pharma Gateway Amsterdam that offers a CEIV-certified, closed and transparent pharma airport process.

Schiphol, together with KLM Cargo and Royal FloraHolland, are the founding fathers of the Holland Flower Alliance. An initiative formed to optimise the logistics of the floricultural supply chain in East Africa and South America. The alliance focuses on the smooth transportation of flowers and plants from growers to wholesalers, and is dedicated to the pursuit of innovation and sustainability in the floral supply chain.

To find out more about initiatives by Schiphol Cargo follow our LinkedIn page or visit

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