Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has announced that its total cargo volumes decreased by 9.2% to 767,519 tonnes, compared with 2018, but that total belly cargo volume increased by 0.9%, following the release of the mid-year figures.

It has been an uneven year for cargo, and Schiphol's data bears this fact out. Full freighter cargo volumes were down by 16.4%, with a decrease of full freighter air transport movements by 14.4%; however, total belly cargo ATMs actually increased by 3.3%.

The figures illustrate that Shanghai remains the main destination for Schiphol's goods, the total reaching 88,481 tonnes in the first six months of 2019, this despite the ongoing trade problems with the US. Runner-up was Moscow, taking 38,633 tonnes.

“The mid-year figures reflect our expectations for a decrease in overall freighter volume as we continue to face slot scarcity, on top of a weakening of the global air cargo market,” commented Bart Pouwels, Head of Cargo at Schiphol.

“As a mainport for the Netherlands, we are concerned about the negative developments within the air cargo market and the consequences it has for the overall network of our airlines at Schiphol. With a decrease of full freighters, we may become less attractive for freight forwarders, as the forwarders need a mix of full freight and belly cargo to operate sustainably. This may result in forwarders leaving Schiphol and the airport becoming less attractive for airlines as belly cargo contributes significantly to certain routes.

“So, the consequence may be that the network may be impacted as well. However, we are keen to maintain our network of destinations for which we need to keep our cargo volumes at a sustainable level.”