Milkrun Concept

Cows and the Dutch air cargo seems to have a connection since the ’50s. It’s not suprising that the concept of the Milkrun well applies on the current logistic process at Schiphol.

Even when taking a serious look at the current structure of the logistic concept it then resembles the round that a milkman used to do.

The term ‘Milk run” originates from America, simply a name for the round a milkman used to do in order to distribute it’s milk bottles. On his daily route he distributed the milk bottles and after his round he would return to his starting point.

Meuse first mentioned the Milkrun as a logistic concept in 1995. The base was to allow rides to drive in circular order. This would result in an increase in the load factor per truck and a decrease in the logistic costs.

B9-586, 10-07-2003, 08:28, 8C, 2798x3480 (132+2933), 100%, RMAfotozwEZ, 1/80 s, R52.0, G33.8, B41.4

Milkrun BG Doorzichtig

A few years ago, a group of graduate students at ACN conducted a research whether this concept could be applied at Schiphol. The focus was mainly on the traffic between the first and the second line. Long waiting lines, high costs and lack of transparancy were the biggest challenges to be faced.

An elaboration of the concept would be that all ground handlers would join and take control over the delivery process of the freight.

The first pilot phase started in May 2015 with three major forwarders and the first ground handler Menzies Aviation. During the following months, more and more forwarders joined the pilot. In September 2015, the total number of forwarders increased to 10.

The web portal went live at that moment. The portal provides each participant with insight in the shipments that will be delivered through the Milkrun. The ground handler is responsible for planning and the transporter ensures that the right trucks are assigned to the rides.


Milkrun BG1

On February first, 2016, the second ground handler Swissport Cargo Services joined the Milkrun. Prior to joining the project Swissport issued a tender in which all interested transporters were able to enroll. Eventually they choose Nagel Transport BV as partner for this project.

The process will be further optimised in the coming months. In addition the project will be expanded with new participants and new ground handlers. Quality over quantity applies,first the process at Swissport will be completely integrated before new ground handlers can join the Milkrun.