KLM Cargo launches pilot project to optimise supply chain


KLM Cargo has set up a project to significantly speed up and enhance the efficiency of European supply chains bringing customer cargo to Schiphol for subsequent international shipment. This project supports the objectives of the “Schiphol 2020 Mainport Programme” to make Schiphol the smartest airport in the world. A pilot project directed at making the first changes to the supply chain from Frankfurt kicked off today.

In periods of several weeks at a time, systematic improvements will be introduced in a bid to create the ideal design by April 2017. This design will then be applied at other European outstations.

Within the scope of the pilot project, KLM Cargo is participating in a consortium representing all the parties involved in the supply chain. KLM Cargo’s partners include Schiphol Cargo, Jan de Rijk Logistics, Cargonaut, Swissport, Kuehne+Nagel and the Customs Services and Tax Authorities.

This morning, the first newly scheduled cargo trucks arrived carrying goods from Frankfurt. A distinction is now being drawn between shipments with shorter connecting times and those with less time pressure.

Introducing the new schedule also constitutes the first step towards setting up a Cloud platform facilitating data exchange amongst the cooperating parties. This means that once data has been delivered “real time” by other parties in the supply chain, it can be reused, supplemented or modified where necessary. From the start, the information is also automatically verified against the applicable customs regulations and safety standards. Not only will this support the exchange of administrative data, it will also facilitate the exchange of status information relating to the shipments.


This is an important adjustment for KLM Cargo, making it possible to further optimise the transhipment process at Schiphol. But, more importantly, this will enable KLM Cargo to enhance the quality of the customer services it provides. By shortening the throughput times for shipments from Europe and making the entire supply chain simpler and more transparent, KLM Cargo can offer its customers far greater predictability regarding delivery. 
Marcel de Nooijer, EVP KLM Cargo
This project involves using each other’s data. Cooperation of this nature is tricky for all the respective parties. You have to look beyond your own needs and work hard to get the job done for one another. It’s excellent that KLM and its partners are able to find common ground here. The supply chain optimisation project generates both savings and additional business. After all, because KLM’s findings will be open to everyone, the project will promote the cargo business Schiphol-wide.
Jonas van Stekelenburg, Head of Schiphol Cargo

The project is supported by the national Neutral Logistic Information Platform (NLIP) steering committee and therefore forms part of government’s policy on leading sectors. In the leading sector of logistics, government aims to raise efficiency and enhance the quality of logistics to ensure the Netherlands maintains its international standing as a leader in this sector in 2020 and beyond.

The project shows which quality improvements and process innovations can be achieved if data can be efficiently shared amongst the logistics partners. It’s great to see that a project supported by NLIP can so quickly produce such tangible results. The challenge in the months ahead will be to continue to use the available data and to further optimise the processes concerned.
Michiel Haarman, Programme Manager at NLIP for the Logistics Top Sector