Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport Starts Milk Run
An innovative partnership project between members of the Schiphol logistics community, organized by the forwarders of Air Cargo Netherlands, aims to optimize the inbound supply chain at Schiphol and reduce CO2, by streamlining the delivery of import shipments from handling agents to air freight forwarders’ warehouses.
Currently undergoing testing, the new milk-run concept would replace forwarders’ truck collections from handling agents, with a single delivery from the handling agent to multiple forwarders’ facilities. This would dramatically reduce truck traffic on and around the airport, cutting truck lines, improve service for forwarders, releasing their vehicles and drivers for other more profitable activities, and cut CO2 emissions.
The launch partners in the new service are DHL, Panalpina, Nippon Express, Menzies, Bos Logistics, and Cargonaut. Another ten forwarders will take part in later trials. The milk run system will incorporate an online portal that enables participants to monitor shipments prior to arrival at Schiphol and until the freight is delivered to the forwarder’s door, bringing greater transparency to the importing process.
“In the milk run, innovation has been achieved through commitment and collaboration from the industry, and the launch partners have co-funded the initiative,” said Luc Scheidel, Commercial Director of Cargonaut. “This is yet another example of how the Schiphol community’s close collaboration enables progress to be made that no individual party could accomplish on its own.”
“We wanted to be involved in the milk run as we are keen to support any initiative that saves time and improves efficiency in the airfreight supply chain,” said Dimitri Brink, Business Unit Manager Amsterdam, Panalpina World Transport. “The milk run is already exceeding our expectations, freeing up our vehicles and drivers, and giving us earlier access to import freight. If this success can be extended to all imports through Schiphol, it will score yet another advantage for the airport in its role as a major gateway for Europe.”
To date, the number of vehicle movements used to handle the import traffic between the participants has already been reduced by 30 percent with load factors increasing from an average of 25 percent to over 60 percent. The milk run pilot will run until the end of 2015, when a full evaluation will take place. If deemed successful another program will be implemented for export cargo.