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Dutch shipper groups respond to plans to merge Schiphol Cargo

Three leading Dutch shipper and forwarder groups have said they hope the merger of Schiphol's cargo and aviation marketing divisions will have "no negative consequences" for air cargo and have called for talks with the hub.

Last week news emerged that from April 1 Schiphol will combine the two divisions led by current head of aviation marketing, Maaike van der Windt.

The current head of cargo, Jonas van Stekelenburg, will move on to a new role outside the airport, although he will help with the merger of the two divisions.

In response, Transport and Logistics Netherlands (TLN), Air Cargo Netherlands (ACN) and evofenedex said: "[We] trust that air cargo and cargo flights remain a core activity of and at the national airport.

"ACN, evofenedex and TLN would like to discuss with Schiphol the strategy to strengthen the freight position in the coming years.

"[We] regret the departure of Van Stekelenburg: he had an eye for the entire airfreight chain and in the last few years he was particularly interested in innovation in this area."

The groups also emphasised the importance of implementing a solution to the lack of slots for all-cargo aircraft at Schiphol.

The groups support a local rule for cargo that would give freighter operators first preference on any unused slots.

"The central question in the coming period is how Schiphol will deal with the current scarcity and the limited space for growth of aviation in the next decade," they said.

"Sufficient capacity and attention for air freight are of great importance for the Dutch economy. TLN, evofenedex and ACN called on the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management to implement the 'local rule', which improves the position of cargo flights at Schiphol, before the start of the new summer season (March 25)."

The groups also last week urged for an increase in the total number of slots allowed at Schiphol in response to delays in the development of Lelystad Airport, where some Schiphol airlines will re-locate to when work is complete.

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