Global commerce becomes ever more sophisticated. Security demands grow ever more onerous. Air cargo can only maintain its share of global trade if it keeps pace with the changing demands of users and regulators – and continues to justify its premium price point by delivering speed and reliability. And airfreight is only as strong as its weakest link – so all progress must be shared, for the good of the entire industry.

Recognising these challenges drives Schiphol’s constant quest for innovation, and the willingness to share ideas with others. Key among Schiphol’s many successful innovations to date are:

Schiphol Smartgate Cargo

One of the first international public-private collaborations in the field of air cargo. Smartgate speeds clearances by enabling integrated monitoring of European exports via Schiphol. It works by collecting shipment data in advance via the Information Broker, or at the Cargo Checkpoint. This populates a central database, enabling Customs to electronically notify handlers and other parties that cargo is green (cleared) or red (requiring inspection).

A new Customs Joint Inspection Centre will further enhance Smartgate by remotely monitoring cargo scanning at forwarders’ and handlers’ premises. This will minimize the number of inspections and the time taken to perform them. Smartgate delivers speed and efficiency, while fully complying with all security requirements.


A collaboration between Schiphol Cargo, Air Cargo Netherlands, Cargonaut and Schiphol’s logistics community. This uses a smart card to identify and grant security access to visiting trucks and their drivers. It automatically allocates a door at the handling agent facility, and the driver swipes the card to upload all shipment data into the handler’s system.

eLink eliminates paper, and removes the work and potential errors resulting from re-keying data. eLink is now used by 25% of the Schiphol community to process 40% of all export shipments, and has significantly reduced handling times. Imports are next on the agenda.