Cargo is an essential factor in the success of Mainport Schiphol. For many airlines, the margins on cargo transport can make the difference between profit and loss. It is therefore crucial that we also offer our customers an attractive marketplace for cargo. This may swing their decision to choose Schiphol as their preferred airport. In addition, cargo transport is closely connected to passenger transport: more than 40% of all cargo passing through Schiphol is carried in the bellies of passenger aircraft.
We continue to develop Schiphol as a cargo hub. We encourage major carriers, forwarders and logistics service providers to use the airport as a link between Europe and the rest of the world. We focus on important markets such as pharmaceuticals and perishable goods. Schiphol creates facilities and opportunities that key in with the wishes of our customers.
Schiphol also collaborates with stakeholders where cargo is concerned. Together with the local authorities, the railways and the seaports, we create multimodal cargo networks which significantly increase Schiphol's range as a cargo airport. Within the Amsterdam Economic Board, we helped realise the first phase of the AirLink project, which removes a variety of obstacles for businesses and facilitates a faster export process. Together with our logistics partners we also conduct an active international promotion policy aimed at persuading service providers and forwarders to route their logistics operations via Schiphol.
Another joint initiative in which Schiphol participates is Amsterdam Connecting Trade (ACT). This area programme focuses on the integral development of three innovative and sustainable business parks in the vicinity of Schiphol: Schiphol-Southeast, Schiphol Logistics Park and A4 Zone West. ACT is being developed in collaboration with Schiphol Area Development Company (SADC), a joint venture between the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, the municipality of Amsterdam, the province of North-Holland and Schiphol Group. The required infrastructure is a key consideration for this project.
The renewed N201 provincial road was completed in 2013, which will benefit transports to and from the Aalsmeer flower auction. Plans have also been drawn up for a Seamless Logistics Link (OLV) between Aalsmeer and the business parks, and for a cargo transshipment station on the high-speed railway line (HST Cargo) at A4 Zone West. The fact that various sites around the airport are available to cargo-related businesses is a major advantage. Schiphol is one of the few large airports in Europe that is able to offer so much new space.