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This year, we experienced ups and downs at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, but we also celebrated some important developments, while focusing on a new strategy for the future and welcoming newcomers to give us a fresh perspective.
In May, Royal Schiphol Group welcomed new CEO Dick Benschop who has introduced a culture of smart, safe and sustainable developments with a focus on sustainable growth.
Since April, I have had the pleasure of heading up our newly formed Aviation Marketing, Cargo and Customer Experience (ACC) team, with Bart Pouwels in charge of cargo, and Roos Bakker and Ferry van der Ent making great steps in helping us to achieve our goals.
Since the start of the new department, we have reviewed and revised our cargo strategy and continue to ensure we shape Europe’s smartest cargo hub with a focus on flowers, e-commerce, pharmceuticals, and our Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP).
The formation of the new department also coincided with turning our attention towards sustainable, moderate growth and utilising belly freight this year, while remaining focused on maintaining full freighter volume.
This complements our long-term goals to function as a smart and sustainable cargo hub, and allows us to fulfil our responsibilities to consider the environment, the local community, and the air cargo industry when conducting our business.
The Cargo Community is important to us, and will remain a top priority as we move into 2019.
For 2019, we are aiming to maintain cargo volume, optimise capacity, and continue developing SCMP.
Collaboration is a big part of SCMP and we have enjoyed working with our partners on projects such as Automated Nomination and Landside Pickup and Delivery.
Both projects involve streamlining air cargo processes and introducing digital applications at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which will continue throughout next year as we work towards implementing data driven, Cloud-based, and transparent processes.
Another example of collaboration within the air cargo community is Pharma Gateway Amsterdam (PGA), with almost all of their members becoming IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistic (CEIV)-certified this year.
A key focus for PGA is to ensure quality and optimise processes within the cool chain, which are crucial elements for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as one of the leading pharma hubs in Europe.
And finally, the Holland Flower Alliance (HFA), of which we are founding members along with Royal FloraHolland and KLM Cargo, reached new milestones by introducing a new track and trace system on flowerboxes for both freight data and product information, and unveiled the Ideal Flowerbox at Flower Logistics Africa (FLA) in November.
Although still in the trial phase, there is the potential for this Flowerbox to improve the shipment of flowers by using a standardised size for boxes and pallets, resulting in a more efficient and sustainable process for transporting flowers.
The prototype was well received at the FLA, and following a successful first trial on routes between Nairobi in Kenya and Amsterdam, the project is now moving to phase two of further trials.
Watch this space in the new year for updates on the progress of these exciting projects.
During the next 12 months, we will continue to focus on maintaining cargo volumes and full freighter carriers, as well as focusing on how to optimise capacity in line with our aims for a smart and sustainable cargo hub.
The industry is constantly evolving with technological advancements and political developments, but as long as we collaborate, support each other, and be open to change, then 2019 is set to be a positive year.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have played a part in the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol story this past year, and we are looking forward to working with you again next year, as well as welcoming two new members to the cargo team.
We will bring you more news about developments in the coming months, and you can keep up to date by following us on LinkedIn.
Wishing you all happy holidays during this festive season and a very prosperous new year!
Maaike van der Windt, Head Aviation Marketing, Cargo and Customer Experience