Amsterdam: a European distribution centre

‘We are unique in our level of cooperation between all government agencies, customs, other inspection agencies and businesses… We have a facilitation process that is way beyond what any other country has to offer.’ (Enno Osinga, senior VP of cargo at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol) ‘KLM has developed, over the years, this hub and spoke network, where they have built up Schiphol into a hub that people fly not to, but through. The majority of our passengers are actually transit passengers. Particularly if you take anybody in the UK from outside of London.’ (Enno Osinga, senior VP of cargo at Schiphol Airport).

‘If you go to North Rhine Westphalia it’s definitely quicker to go through here than Frankfurt. A lot going to northern Italy, France and Spain also comes through here. Proximity is not the key thing. The key thing is, “Where can I best organise my distribution so I reach everything quicker?” (Enno Osinga, senior VP of cargo at Schiphol Airport).

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, in short

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol originally opened as a military airbase in 1916. Of the many innovations that have developed there since, one of the most regarded is the signage. The original 1967 effort was by Dutch designer Benno Wissing and, according to The New York Times, was ‘renowned for its lucid typography and rigorous colour coding. To avoid confusion, he banned any other signage in his chosen shades of yellow and green from Schiphol, including Hertz’s car rental signs’.  

The 1990s replacements were by the equally renowned Dutchman Paul Mijksenaar, who also took care of the signage for New York’s three main airports. Schiphol is the lowest airport on earth, sitting six metres below sea level, in an area that was, until 1852, a lake. It’s also something of a cultural hub, with its own library and an annex of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, offering a small (free) exhibition of art from the main collection of one of the world’s most renowned museums. 

Read full testimonial here.