DGM was established in 1987 in The Netherlands by founding father Frank Petillon. Frank saw an opportunity to offer professional expertise to the industry due to the complex and conflicting regulations for the transport of dangerous goods. His career began in the airline industry where he served with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. He later left KLM Royal and began working in the freight forwarding industry where he would eventually start his own forwarding company, Air Cargo Express, based in Amsterdam. Once ACE was well established he began to concentrate full-time on the development of Dangerous Goods initiatives. DGM started as a division of Frank Petillon’s forwarding company ACE – Air Cargo Express. In 1988 DGM broke away from ACE and became its own entity. DGM has expanded its scope of services over the years to assist air carriers: for technical assistance, cargo inspections, repack and re-document shipments in transit, or to prepare new sets of Shipper’s Declarations for Dangerous Goods by Air, under DGM’s responsibility. DGM also arranged ADR or IMDG paperwork for dangerous goods which were shipped as air cargo, but then were to be carried by road on airline air waybill, or which connected to ferry services (IATA/ICAO rules, versus ADR road, versus the IMO/IMDG maritime rules and regulations).
In 1990, Frank established DGM Support to provide the technical, marketing, and other supportive functions to the growing DGM Global Network. DGM Support also acts as the umbrella organization for the global network. Using the franchise model for expansion and growth, DGM Support established the DGM brand in more than 31 countries. Today, DGM has over 50 independent network offices operating in different countries, using the same brand name, operating principles, and standards.
In October, 2006, founder Frank Petillon, passed away. However, his vision continues to guide the growth and development of the DGM network around the world.