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Atlanta, Amsterdam airports sign cargo agreement

A lit-up hangar at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote cargo trade and investment between Atlanta and Amsterdam, the airport operators said Wednesday.

The agreement, which was announced at the Air Cargo Europe conference in Munich, will foster data exchanges to improve end-to-end planning and capacity optimization, the operators said.

“This collaborative agreement will enable us to promote the benefits of strengthening the Netherlands as a gateway to Europe, and Atlanta Airport as a gateway to the Atlantic, the Midwest, and (the southern tier of the U.S.)” said Bart Pouwels, head of cargo at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

The operators said they will form the “Atlanta Cargo Network” with the goal of increasing air exports of Georgia-made agricultural and manufactured goods to The Netherlands. The project will begin in September and run through 2020.

“This collaboration will allow us to create a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship with Schiphol and, by extension, the Netherlands, a nation that has well over a thousand years of history in successful trade experience,” said Elliott Paige, airport director at Hartsfield-Jackson.

Hartsfield-Jackson is working with Kale Logistics Solutions, an Indian I.T. provider to create a new airport cargo community system. The new platform is designed to extend beyond the traditional message exchange systems to integrate the end-to-end air supply chain, Kale said in the statement.

Jesse Cohen, air cargo market expert for FreightWaves, said that European airports like Schiphol have made progress in recent years to improve their processes, especially in the area of data exchange. Truckers that serve the world’s air cargo facilities will be major beneficiaries of improved data flows because they will reduce the long waits that drivers endure to tender or pick-up airfreighted goods, Cohen said. Inefficient information exchanges have been a big problem for the air cargo supply chain, leading to delays on the ground and offsetting the benefits of rapid air deliveries which shippers and consignees pay a premium for.

“It will take all the Atlanta-base freight forwarders, airlines and cargo handlers working closely together to achieve what is in place at the leading European airports,” Cohen said.

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.