IGLU Air Cargo is celebrating its 20th anniversary

In November 1999, Quick Cargo founder Dieter Haltmayer brought all medium-sized freight forwarders together. The aim was to pool forces together and thus be able to better counteract the purchasing power of large freight forwarders with airlines. David versus Goliath. (The picture above is from 2001)

The IGLU Air Cargo brand was registered in December. Over the summer of 2000, there were negotiations and a first general meeting in which 24 shareholders took part, before all shareholder agreements were signed in November 2000 and IGLU Air Cargo was able to operate as a purchasing group on the market. Such a shipping community was a novelty for the industry. This community of interests enables the individual freight forwarders to have concentrated purchasing power, competitive rates and secured capacities.

IGLU lasts much longer than its tea kettle of the same name. “After 20 years, IGLU can look back on a successful history. As early as 2002, the Deutsche Verkehrs Zeitung (DVZ) confirmed that IGLU was playing in the “Aircargo Bundesliga,” reports IGLU managing director Günther Gasthuber. “IGLU is the first of the German air freight alliances to appear as a unit in the CASS billing system of the airline umbrella organization IATA. “IGLU works with all well-known airlines at Frankfurt Airport,” continued Gasthuber.

An interview with IGLU initiator Dieter Haltmayer

How did IGLU come about?

The starting point was a speech by Wilhelm Althen, the then Lufthansa Cargo CEO, who predicted poor future prospects for medium-sized freight forwarders at the annual conference of Cargo Network Services (CNS), the US arm of IATA. “The takeover game has just begun,” said Althen at the time. In three to five years, five to seven groups would control 70-80 percent of the air freight market. We wanted to counteract this with the combined strengths of medium-sized businesses. The air freight interest group should counteract the airlines’ preference for certain business partners and increase the competitiveness of its members.

On November 17, 1999, the initiators of the interest group invited a total of 70 shipping companies to the Holiday Inn in Bad Soden. The response was very promising and just four weeks later on December 15, 1999, IGLU was able to register its trademark. IGLU was founded with ten members as a volume purchasing cooperative. Volume contracts were concluded with the airlines, which gave and still gives members the opportunity to purchase significantly cheaper freight rates. In this respect, IGLU was and is a neutral shopping platform where all members receive the same rates.

What was the biggest challenge when founding IGLU?

It was difficult to bring all the different shipping companies together at the same table. After all, we are all competitors in the market. The most important challenge was to anchor the aspect of “together against the big boys” in people’s minds. Together as a community of interests we can achieve better rates and better conditions. We have to compete against the big players – act as one – because they are destroying our prices. And that’s ultimately how it is today: everyone in the market is in competition with everyone else, but everyone is on the same page when it comes to the airlines.

How did IGLU develop?

In the year 2000, 5,000 kg were handled via IGLU – today it is over 20,000 tons. IGLU has grown from 10 members to 24 members – further growth is not desired. Too many cooks spoil the broth – otherwise agreements become increasingly difficult. IGLU is a non-profit organization. It is not IGLU that should make the profit, but rather the individual freight forwarders. IGLU is financed through monthly membership fees. IGLU members benefit from a discount of around 5-10 percent on freight rates.