SCHIPHOL LOST &FOUND
More space, more overview. The Lost & Found department of Schiphol Airport benefits greatly from the new mobile cabinets from Bruynzeel Storage Systems. Travelers are sometimes pretty careless with their belongings, says Klaas Kan, employee of Schiphol’s Lost & Found department.
Each year they lose almost 50,000 items at the airport: hand luggage, books, bank cards, toiletries, cameras, credit cards, bunches of keys, books, children’s toys, smartphones, e-readers, headphones, tablets, laptops and countless other things. “I understand,” Kan says, retrieving expensive Bose headphones from a bin that an unknown passenger has lost.
“Checking in is stressful for many people. They are so busy with that process and distracted that they forget their stuff. And usually they find out when they are already on the plane or when they get home. ” ”
At some point, all lost and found items at Schiphol end up at the Lost & Found department. The department stores the objects until the owner reports. “But 70 percent of the found objects are never collected,” says Kan. “And that certainly not only concerns things with little value, but also expensive laptops, headphones, iPads and cameras. Apparently people often do not find it worthwhile to pursue this. ”
The employees of Lost & Found put all found objects in the computer, including a description of the object in question that is as adequate as possible. “But”, says Kan, “that doesn’t always work. One iPad often looks exactly like another. ”
Based on these descriptions and any available name and address details, Lost & Found tries to find out the rightful owners, wherever they live in the world. If it is successful – and there is a match, as Kan calls it -, the owners will receive an email and they can have the item shipped by an international transport company for a fee. A large part of the owners report to the counter and get their property back free of charge.
From mobile carts to mobile storage cabinets
After they have been registered, all found objects are kept in the Lost & Found depot for three months (the legally required term). Then they go in large batches to buyers or auctions. For objects for which a match has been made or for which the current value is higher than € 450, a legal retention period of 13 months applies.
In addition, Customs also seizes tens of thousands of objects that are not prohibited in themselves, but are not allowed on the plane. Such as pocket knives, scissors, toy guns and other sharp objects, which will also be auctioned over time.
Previously, storage in the depot was done in mobile carts, but Bruynzeel installed ten movable and lockable storage cabinets in close consultation with Lost & Found. As a result, the department can not only store many more objects, but there is also a better overview, making objects easier to find.
“We had been struggling with a lack of space for a while”
“We had been struggling with a lack of space for some time,” says Kan. “That has only gotten worse since Schiphol switched to the one access system. One access is easier and faster for travelers, but apparently also leads to greater stress, which makes things more likely to be forgotten.”
It just keeps getting better
Klaas Kan and his colleagues are happy with Bruynzeel’s solution. Although not everything is optimally furnished yet, the depot already looks a lot less cluttered than before. Some cabinets are specially designed for hanging clothes, most have shelves on which the found objects are kept by type and by date. It is also nice that the cabinets can be locked easily, so that nothing can disappear. “We opted for standard cabinets with a cheerful color scheme,” says Kan. “The eye wants something too.”
The installation of the cabinets themselves was done within days. “It all went very smoothly. We had to, because during the furnishing, things were of course found that had to be processed. ”
Some of the cupboards have now been filled. Now it is important to give the items that are still scattered in bins or roll containers a place in the improved storage. It will all be fine, says Klaas Kan. “It just keeps getting better.”