QCS time travel…Interview with Dieter Haltmayer

or you should never forget your roots. In 1974 Dieter Haltmayer founded Quick-Cargo. Despite his advanced age, he is still very active and can be found in the office almost every day. The cargo has determined and still determines his life. The world of logistics and QCS has changed over the past 46 years.

What has changed most in logistics?

I’m a veteran of logistics, so to speak. In the early days of air freight, for example, you could load 2,900 kilograms on a DC3 ( two-propeller aircraft), but today we can transport 120 tons. But of course the rates were extremely high compared to today. On a flight with the Comet to Australia, for example, we were able to load 900 kilograms of freight and we received 40 DM per kilo of freight and today we get 2 to 3 euros per kilo. Another striking difference is of course digitalization. People didn’t know about computers in the 50s. We still had air waybills consisting of eleven copies, so you had to assign each copy individually for billing, for the customer, for the recipient (…) that alone was a lot of work. But one of the main advantages compared to today was that you had an agent in a country. Collaborations were so much more binding and personal. It wasn’t just about the rate. Today you can see five different offers on the computer and the price is decisive, so that the competitive pressure for everyone is increasing and there is more and more mass production.

And at Quick-Cargo, what has changed the most there?

We have on July 1st. Started in 1974 with three people, today there are almost 200 employees. We used to work with fixed rates and received 5 percent commission. Furthermore, of course, safety regulations used to be little or no issue at all. At that time we were able to walk to the plane with peace of mind. For example, we loaded an express shipment for the press 10 minutes before departure. They were then quickly put on the plane. So the film could then be shown during the evening news. Unthinkable today.

A few words about the founding times in 1974

Like today, 1974 was the World Cup (except Germany won then). It was supposed to start on July 1st, a Monday. However, a “football accident” in a circle of friends that left him in a cast for over 10 months and a ten-week stay in the hospital meant that he started with the handbrake on. My co-owner at the time, Gudrun Domres, kept the company afloat in the first year. The first few months were slower than expected. Many potential customers, including some former major customers from my time at Air-Canda, did not hear from them again despite previous promises (“you can trust our freight”). An educational experience.

It was also necessary to retrain from a well-earning Air Canada executive to a struggling freight forwarder. A very busy time. I had to pick up and deliver shipments myself, even in the evening.
For example, we had a customer in the Weserbergland to whom we delivered 900 kilograms of textiles from Hong Kong every day and this happened in the evening after the day’s business. The customer called us the “midnight shipping company.

But with a lot of hard work, sales skills and energy, things went up step by step. As early as 1976, Quick-Cargo had four employees and four rooms. The breakthrough finally came with an order for 450,000 suitcases that were to be delivered to Nigeria in the same year. A coup for QCS and the Revealable Leather Goods Factory. A total of 15 charters were carried out.