Thursday, November 8, 2012

Horses for Courses as Schiphol Freight Group Opens New Equine Cargo Facility

Second Handling Unit as Amsterdam Targets Greater Market Share
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will have a second equine handling centre from December, with the launch of a joint venture between freight handling agent Aviapartner and Dutch equine transport specialist European Cargo Services (ECS). The new facility, currently under construction, will be a self-contained unit sited within the existing Aviapartner handling centre, located in the centre of Schiphol’s cargo area, and only 30 metres from the nearest freighter parking stand. Gerard Kervezee, Aviapartner’s Manager – Commerce for the Netherlands commented:

“Our aim in opening this new facility is not to create more competition, but to increase the airport’s current market share of equine business by providing extra capacity and enhanced facilities. It will also enable Aviapartner to broaden its service offering to airline clients.”

The facility will be fully-certificated for NVWA (Nederlandse Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit, Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) veterinary inspections, and will operate as a Border Inspection Post for acceptance and clearance of horse movements into the EU from any part of the world. Initially, the facility will cater only for horses; handling of other live animals will be included later. The equine handling centre will have its own landside entry and direct access to the ramp, and will include 24 horse stalls, a separate quarantine area and cleaning facilities for air-stalls. In addition to the facility’s own staff, experienced grooms will be on standby at all times to assist when required.

Edwin Hofstede of European Cargo Services said that the combined in-house expertise and know-how of ECS and Aviapartner, the company’s prime location, the resources to handle all aircraft types, and the ability to add ground transportation mean ECS can provide the market with a ‘one stop shop’ for all horse movements through Schiphol. Saskia van Pelt, Business Development Director for the airport’s dedicated cargo arm, Schiphol Cargo added:

“The handling and international transport of horses has always been an important activity at Schiphol, for which the airport has an excellent reputation. We believe the creation of this additional facility strengthens our position in this demanding and specialised market sector, and will further increase the appeal of Schiphol as a gateway for live animal movements into and out of Europe.”

Photo: A collapsible horse stall as used by ECS