History

The Internationale Graanoverslag Maatschappij Amsterdam, better known as the IGMA, was founded in 1959. It is a result of an agreement between Tradax and the city of Amsterdam. Tradax, then a subsidiary of Cargill, was a trade company that provided a guaranteed supply of a product that needed to be transhipped. The city of Amsterdam undertook the construction of a storage and handling facility in the harbour of Amsterdam. The first ship, Golden Eagle (American tanker of 35,000 tons), was unloaded in December, 1960. It was a very labour-intensive business in the beginning. The products were delivered in relatively small ships up to 35,000 tons. Four pneumatic machines (vacuum suction machines) were used and the holds of the ships were cleaned by hand. In 1965, the first earth-moving machine was used at the IGMA. It was a small skid-steer loader of the brand Monroe, which was used for clearing the ships’ holds. A floating pneumatic machine (Elevator 5) was purchased in 1967, and the Elevator 6 in 1968, which was later donated to a museum. In the early ‘70s, the Elevator 7 was purchased, which was a renovated elevator with two booms instead of four. In 1975, all shares of IGMA were acquired by Tradax, making IGMA a wholly owned subsidiary of Tradax. IGMA thereby became a part of Cargill. In 1976, because of the growing demand for Tapioca, two floating lemniscate cranes (16 T) with accompanying weighing installations were purchased. The ships that delivered the Tapioca were not moored at the pier, but on buoys in the middle of the harbour. With the introduction of the cranes, a number of additional earth-moving machines were purchased to increase productivity. The transhipment facilities at the pier were modernised in 1982. Four pneumatic machines were replaced by two siwertells (screw loaders) that no longer pneumatically took the product from the holds, but mechanically. At the end of the 80’s, IGMA started with IPS (Igma Parcel Service). IPS started handling the freight of smaller packages of cargo from South and North America for many different costumers. IGMA started to grow, and three more cranes with weighing installations were eventually purchased. Today, the IGMA is a modern company with highly educated and trained personnel, capable of annually transhipping 8 to 9 million tons of agricultural bulk, coal, ores, but also big bags.