Forwarders and other stakeholders are being urged to help stem the chaos at airports, as multiple hubs and handlers across western Europe face severe congestion, with no sign of flows easing despite China’s holiday.

Cargo flows continue to be high – but also unpredictable – and handlers say they expect volumes to continue throughout the Chinese new year break.

Dnata at Schiphol is among the handlers struggling, with one airline reporting that the facility was “imploding”.

Ross Marino, Dnata’s regional chief executive for Europe, explained that the handler had experienced “a perfect storm” of problems.

Dnata’s volumes at the airport are up 40% on last year, while freighter ramp activity is up 113%.

“Every week is a juggling act, and imports have got really busy,” he said. “Volumes tend to come in on Thursdays and keep coming on Friday and over the weekend – but stay in the warehouse till Monday.”

However, this month was worse, he explained.

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