Schiphol ‘Milk Run’ collaboration set to optimise supply chain and cut CO2

An innovative partnership project between members of the Amsterdam Schiphol logistics community aims to optimise the inbound supply chain at the airport and reduce CO2 by streamlining the delivery of import shipments from handling agents to forwarders’  warehouses.

Organized by the steering committee forwarders of Air Cargo Netherlands and currently undergoing proving trails, the new ‘Milk Run concept would replace forwarders’ own truck collections from all 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, so cutting truck queues and in turn, would improve service for forwarders, release their vehicles and drivers for other more profitable activities, and cut CO2 emissions, said Air Cargo Netherlands.

The launch partners in the new Milk Run service are DHL, Panalpina, Nippon Express, Menzies (as the handling agent triallist and scheme manager), Bos Logistics (which provides the collection and delivery service on behalf of Menzies) and community system provider Cargonaut.   Another ten forwarders will take part in later trials.

The Milk Run system will incorporate an online portal that enables all participants to monitor their shipments prior to arrival at Schiphol, until the freight is delivered to the forwarder’s door, bringing greater transparency to the entire import 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. This is as important as the early results, which incidentally look very promising.”

Panalpina World Transport’s Business Unit Manager Amsterdam, Dimitri Brink, said his company was keen to support any initiative, such as the Milk Run that saves time and improves efficiency in the airfreight supply chain.

“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,” he added.

To date, the number of vehicle movements used to handle the import traffic between the participants has already been reduced by 30%, with load factors increasing from an average 25% to over 60%.

The Milk Run pilot will run until the end of 2015, when a full evaluation will take place. If the trial is considered a success, the eventual aim is to operate a similar facility for export cargo.

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