The way, forwarding agent QCS - Quick Cargo Service celebrates its feasts is legendary. Last weekend another unforgettable chapter was added to the firm’s decade-long practice of joyful events.
It was sensational, gigantic, completely overwhelming. There are hardly adequate words to describe the unique, almost indescribable and fantastically orchestrated show on the occasion of a double
birthday last Saturday in the noble Kempinski Hotel in Gravenbruch near Frankfurt: Dieter Haltmayer turning 80 and his QCS – Quick Cargo Service GmbH celebrating its 40th anniversary.
All sang “happy birthday to you …”
About 280 invitees, among them many QCS staff, enjoyed every minute of the long lasting party and the stunning performances of entertainers, musicians, comedians and dancers the Haltmayer family had contracted to guarantee their employees and hand-picked guests a top class event.
They all came from near and far to honor Dieter, his family and his firm’s anniversary. Besides local hons, celebrities from the U.S., Hong Kong, UK, Peru, Italy, Finland, Russia or Portugal followed his call, just to give a quick look at how far QCS’s global network spans today. Among them were IATA’s former Head of Cargo, Des Vertannes, Emirates SkyCargo’s long-time driving force Ram Menen (ret.), Lufthansa Cargo’s Helmsman Peter Gerber or Managing Director Steven Alves of the global alliance World Cargo Marketing of which QCS was one of the initiators, and the list goes on.
Surprising special guest
One of the many highlights was Angela Merkel’s appearance. The German Chancellor’s stunning lookalike lauded QCS in her witty speech as one of the country’s showpiece companies other firms should learn from if they want to be successful in business. In that case they better not support the Social Democrats, “Angie” warned the cargo industry of establishing closer contacts to the political rivals of her conservative party.
Mrs “Merkel’s” address to the audience was followed by the appearance of a bagpipe band fascinating the guests with their traditional Scottish tunes. “Marilyn Monroe” came on to the stage next, an almost perfect double of the great American actress, followed by a dazzling violin virtuoso. Finally, and much later that evening, a scantily dressed Brazilian Samba group delighted everyone’s senses with a breathtaking show.
To be like Dieter
To put it in a nutshell: All in all it was a superb and unforgettable evening, framed by speeches, personal discussions, new or renewed contacts, tasty delicacies and drinks. Ram Menen put it in his own charming way, by saying:
“What a wonderful and memorable night it was for a wonderful person. Dieter and his family never ever seem to stop surprising me. They are great folks. When I grow up, I want to be like Dieter!”
Everybody agreed that the show needs to be repeated – at the latest, when Dieter celebrates his 90th birthday and his QCS turns 50!
We asked some of the attendees about their impressions of the party and also the role the family-run QCS is playing within the cargo industry. We got these statements and reactions:
Inna Vysotskaya and Miroslav Zolotarev of ACEX, Global Logistics Network, Moscow:
Miroslav: “You can physically sense that QCS is a mature company, extremely well organized and established in the market, with very experienced people running the daily business. For our firm and network it is a pleasure and also honor to cooperate with them. These ties that we established some time ago, to identify new market opportunities for mutual benefit we hope to deepen in the coming months and years.”
Inna: “Their show was just perfect. They obviously not only know how to successfully do business but also the way anniversaries and similar events should be organized. My impression is that shows like this one, we are experiencing here at Gravenbruch tonight, also strengthen the identification of the employees with their company. I’m so impressed that I’m spontaneously thinking of copying their model to perform it in a similar way in Moscow one day.”
Ram Menen, former Divisional Senior VP Cargo at Emirates Sky Cargo and meanwhile retired Aviation and Air Cargo Executive, Luxembourg:
“QCS reminds me on a story that took place in the past, with the Schenker’s, Kuehne’s and others starting as family enterprises which eventually grew to become major multinationals. I personally believe that Quick Cargo Service is already on its way to become a multinational although their biz is still growing organically. To me a clear indication is their association of small and middle-sized forwarding agents named IGLU, which they play a leading role in. To me, bodies such as IGLU are the breeding grounds for something bigger one day. Compared with the multinationals QCS has a major advantage: the next managerial generation is already on board, increasingly taking over responsibilities. This is a very solid foundation for securing further growth, moving step by step.
QCS was a niche player before Stephan, Heidi and Jennifer came in, supporting Dieter and driving ahead with the firm’s biz. One big advantage that I see is the fact that their company is not listed. Once you are listed you do business for your stakeholders, not primarily for your customers. In a very evolving and competitive industry the ability and flexibility is key to success and I can see that they have right ingredients in place.
Logistics is very critical to world commerce, so it is a great industry to be in.”
Florian Pfaff, Vice President Area Management Germany, Lufthansa Cargo, Frankfurt:
“This QCS evening is unrivalled and unique, just perfect from beginning to end. There is no other show like this one within our industry in Germany, neither mid-sized companies nor multinationals. At Lufthansa Cargo we were not always in accord with QCS in the past. Indeed, our relationship has not always been free of friction. I remember our first CEO Wilhelm Althen who was firmly convinced that mid-sized players such as QCS would become extinct sooner or later. I personally take a different view, that’s why I always tried to preserve, deepen, and also enhance longstanding business relations with players like Quick Cargo and comparable firms. This has paid off for us and for them as well. This is proven by the figures which show that QCS together with IGLU Air Cargo, an association of 23 mid-sized cargo forwarding companies formed to consolidate shipments on a number of international routes, are among our most important clients when it comes to sales. In addition I would like to stress there is no other German forwarding agent (in Germany) that has won more quality accolades awarded by Lufthansa Cargo than the Haltmayer family-run QCS.”
Ingo Roessler, Chief Commercial Officer Innovative Software, Frankfurt
“It’s great to see how in the heart of German family businesses they know how to celebrate and give back to the community, it is unrivalled in the corporate world. Only when you put your money where your mouth is, are you able to capitalize on opportunities.
Over decades Dieter has proven to develop the business against all the odds. He has done this with stamina and determination and a constant view (eye) on engaging his family. He is reaping the rewards today.”
Desmond Vertannes, former Head of IATA Cargo and Industry Executive, Portugal
“QCS to me is a tremendous example of a family business that has prospered for decades withstanding any global crisis.
It’s easy to pin down the reasons behind their success and continuous wellbeing: these are based on the principals of human interaction, loyalty, great depth of relationship, trust, and
ethics of customer service. And – of course – there is the guiding principal- Dieter Haltmayer- during his time working for airlines he focused on delivering quality and a belief that no customer
should be treated as second class. He has exercised this principle all through his business life and this is evident all through QCS and its corporate culture.
Today, I’m very pleased to see CEO Peter Gerber of Germany’s national cargo carrier Lufthansa taking the time to celebrate this momentous event with Dieter, Stephan, Heidi and Jennifer. It’s wonderful that he should be paying his own personal tribute and respect to QCS and its achievements.
Quick Cargo Service has been a loyal and very good customer during my days at Air Canada, later Gulf Air and Etihad, and supported me during my time at IATA. Today, I can only say ‘thank you’ to them for this enduring support and close business partnership. Over the years this has grown into something deeper and long lasting: I’m proud to have the Haltmayer family as friends. I sense they have lots of friends in business across the world and this symbolizes the ingredients of their success.
No other company that is not a multinational could have managed to organize and stage such an event with international stars, that we experience and enjoy tonight.”
Compiled by Heiner Siegmund