QCS founder Dieter Haltmayer on the founding of IGLU
It was almost 20 years ago that QCS founder Dieter Haltmayer gathered the medium-sized forwarders together to oppose the favoritism of the airlines for the largest forwarding firms. In this way Dieter Haltmayer initiated a David vs Goliath conflict!
How did IGLU come to be founded?
The trigger was a speech by Wilhelm Althen, then chairman of Lufthansa Cargo, at the annual conference of Cargo Network Services (CNS), the US arm of IATA, which predicted a gloomy future for medium-sized forwarders, “The takeover game has only just begun. Althen claimed that in 3-5 years 70-80% of the airfreight market would be controlled by 5-7 groups. We wanted to counter this with the combined strength of medium-sized forwarders. The association of common interests in airfreight (IGLU) aimed to oppose the airlines’ preferential treatment of certain business partners and increase the competitiveness of its members.
The initiators invited 70 forwarders to a meeting at the Holiday Inn in Bad Soden on the 17th November 1999. The reaction of all present was very promising and just four weeks later, on the 15th December 1999, IGLU was registered as a trademark.
IGLU was founded with ten members as a purchasing cooperative based on volume. They made volume contracts with the airlines, which gave, and gives, members the possibility to buy substantially cheaper freight rates. Insofar IGLU was, and is, a neutral purchasing platform where all members receive the same rates.
What was the greatest challenge in founding IGLU?
It was difficult to get all those different, individual forwarders around a table at all. After all, we were also all in competition with each other. The most important challenge was to make the market take notice of our concerns as medium-sized forwarders. We had to compete with the big boys – present a united front – because they were pricing us out of the market. Ultimately that is still how it is today: in the market it’s everyone for himself in competition, but we are all united regarding the airlines.
How has IGLU developed over time?
In the year 2000 IGLU loaded 5000 Kilos – today it is around 20,000 tons. IGLU has grown from 10 members to 24 today, but a further growth in membership is not desired: too many cooks spoil the broth, and agreements become ever harder to reach. IGLU is a non-profit organisation; it is not IGLU but its individual members that are supposed to make a profit. The organization is financed through a monthly membership fee. Our members benefit by a saving on freight rates from 5-10%.