United Airlines and American Airlines are backing the new cargo transportation joint venture, Integres Global Logistics, which will offer small- and medium-size shippers with a FedEx-style service featuring door-to-door delivery and on-line tracking as an alternative to more traditional air- freight forwarding.

Integres claims it provides a turnkey solution to the cargo needs of small businesses, with pick-up and placement on one of the joint venture's participating carriers, electronic tracking and delivery. "Pricing is geared to providing small shippers with the feel of being a Fortune 500 shipper," says Integres president Jim Hartigan.

American and United have joined forces with G-Log, Roadway Express, Unisys and UTi Worldwide to form Integres. Deliveries will bear the carrier or ground delivery agent's label and undercut the fragmented freight-forwarding market by 30-35%.

"We're not unique to American and United, and are in discussions with other carriers. We'll be announcing in the next few weeks the signing up of additional transport companies to access capacity beyond American, Roadway and United. They could be both equity investors or users," says Hartigan, formerly a United Airlines cargo vice president.

The Rancho Cordova, California-based firm hopes to make an initial public offering within 24-26 months. Integres has not revealed the size of American or United's holding or investment. Operations will start this summer.

Source: Flight International