Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Europe's third largest cargo airport, handled a total of 729,174 tonnes of cargo in the first six months of 2012, down 3.2 per cent year on year, according to the Shipping Gazette.
"Ours is the strongest performance among Europe's top three cargo airports, and better than the entire European market which was down 4.9 per cent up to May," said Schiphol vice president Enno Osinga.
Exports accounted for 48.7 per cent of the total, and held up better than imports, which were 3.5 per cent down compared to the same period a year earlier. June was one of two months in the first half that posted growth, with volume up 0.4 per cent year-on-year, marking the continuation of a three-month recovery trend, said airport authorities.
The Far East remained the airport's top market, with a 38.61 per cent share of the total volume in the second quarter, which was 11.48 per cent down on 2011, and below the average 40 per cent share seen in 2011. Cargo volume to the US totalled 130,796 tonnes, a year-on-year decrease of 6.8 per cent.
European figures, which now include Airbridgecargo flights via Moscow, continued to show strong growth in the January-June period and were up 53 per cent year on year. The release said that European traffic climbed every month for the whole of the first half, continuing the pattern of 2011.
Schiphol handled 7,636 freighter flights in the first half of the year, up by a marginal 0.5 per cent on 2011's results.
Mr Osinga said 2012 was displaying less dramatic peaks and troughs than 2011, and the year is shaping up more positively than we expected.
"Economic factors which currently affect air cargo tonnages are beyond our control, so we are focusing increasingly on the longer term and ways in which we can positively influence our business in the future," said Mr Osinga.
"Our various plans and initiatives to further improve efficiency and speed of cargo flows through Schiphol are already showing tangible results. These, along with the programmed investments in multi-modal infrastructure around Schiphol, will ensure it remains the airport of choice for cargo entering and leaving northern Europe," he said.
In 2011 the airport handled a total of 1.5 million tonnes of cargo.