Amsterdam Airport Schiphol positioning itself as a gateway for pharmaceuticals
A gateway for Indian pharmaceutical freight
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which is located in the heart of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, is an important international logistics hub and is positioning itself as Europe’s preferred airport. Speaking to Cargotalk, Bart Pouwels, Director, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Cargo, maintained that the airport’s prime focus for Indian market would be pharmaceuticals from India to Europe and beyond, via Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Cargo would showcase its facilities for handling of pharmaceuticals through Indian Pharma Shippers’ Forum. The forum is focussing on sector demands and airfreight opportunities of India’s US$20 billion pharma industry. India is fast emerging as a global manufacturing hub for pharmaceutical products, and the country’s booming pharma industry is expected to achieve annual growth of around 8 per cent by 2015.
We have set up a strong infrastructure to handle pharmaceuticals at our airport. We are expecting a huge volume of pharma products from India” Bart Pouwels Director, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Cargo
“We have set up a strong infrastructure to handle pharmaceuticals at our airport. We are expecting a huge volume of pharma products from India,” said Pouwels, who is the co-organiser of the Pharma Shippers’ Forum. He is an expert on pharma, lifescience and perishables, whose career has also included several years as the senior manager of pharma business for a major global logistics provider. “Schiphol itself already has a strong commitment to this sector, having successfully facilitated growth of pharma traffic from India, using Amsterdam as a gateway to other continents such as the Americas. But there is potential for much more growth, both on our route and to other major markets,” observed Pouwels.
Meanwhile, there are some seven handling companies present at Schiphol Airport with all modern facilities for shippers and freight forwarders. Recently, KLM has opened new facilities for temperature-sensitive cargo.
Pouwels asserted that Schiphol Airport is an attractive transshipment hub with huge connectivity by regular passenger as well as freighter aircraft. It has 317 scheduled destinations in more than 90 countries, connected by 103 scheduled airlines, 24 scheduled freighter operators in 2012. The fast, efficient and safe cargo process at this airport is driven by continual supply-chain innovation, close cooperation with the entire cargo community and the added-value knowledge and expertise of its team.
Schiphol is optimally connected by air, sea, rail and road. Access to all main European commercial and industrial centres is fast and easy. Over 150 logistics service providers have operations situated at or in the direct vicinity of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and over half of all American and Asian European Distribution Centres are located here.
According to Pouwels, the less transit times and fast clearance of cargo at Schiphol Airport is possible because of the successful implementation of e-freight project. Meanwhile, ‘e- Freight@ NL’ – the Dutch Government-funded project to encourage the move towards paperless air cargo through its main airport, Schiphol - has completed its programme with a string of successes. Launched in July 2010, the project has successfully achieved a five-fold increase in e- Freight shipments through Schiphol in 2012.
In view of huge potential of pharmaceuticals export from India, Pouwels recommended for more capacity and freighter services between India and Amsterdam. He is expecting a good volume of pharmaceuticals from Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Accordingly, the Forum will organise road-shows in these cities in the months to come to interact with exporters and freight-forwarders.