KLM launches new cargo sorting system at Schiphol airport

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
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Air France-KLM has officially launched a new cargo sorting system at Amsterdam airport Schiphol, capable of handling piece-level freight such as post, express shipments and pharmaceutical consignments.

News of the express sorting system hit the press three days ago, with the airlines claiming to be the world’s first to make use of this kind of sorting system.

The system will enable KLM to keep pace with growing demand for express delivery, explained Marcel de Nooijer, executive VP of KLM Cargo. He commented that the new facility “allows us to keep pace with the rapid increase in post and express consignments,” adding that, “The system is faster and smarter, allowing us to offer better service to our customers.”

In addition, the new cargo facility will help KLM to enhance its e-commerce capabilities, enabling the airline to launch a Europe-wide same-day delivery product called 12Send, in co-operation with Netherlands-based Parcel International. Following trials this summer in London, Madrid and Stockholm, the product aims to go live in September this year.

Aimed at facilitating the online B2C retail industry, 12send will deliver e-commerce goods in free circulation (import duties paid) in the EU. An initial pilot programme for same-day service was launched on KLM routes between Amsterdam and Barcelona in October last year.

The sorting system itself is an impressive structure, comprising some 400 machines, 108 chutes, 54 work stations and 200 storage positions. It was designed and built in co-operation with Lödige Industries and Vanderlande and can handle more than 2,000 items per hour, bound for more than 70 destinations.

“E-commerce is a fast-growing branch in the cargo industry,” Nooijer said. “This innovative system allows us to keep pace with the rapid increase in post and express consignments. The system is faster and smarter, allowing us to offer better service to our customers.”

In Paris, the sorting system has already been a great success since its launch in April 2015.


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