GPS

About DHL

DHL Express is a division of the German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL providing international express mail  services. Deutsche Post is the world's largest logistics company operating around the world, particularly in sea and air mail.

Originally founded in 1969 to deliver documents between San Francisco and Honolulu, the company expanded its service throughout the world by the late 1970s. The company was primarily interested in offshore and inter-continental deliveries, but the success of FedEx prompted their own intra-US expansion starting in 1983. DHL expanded to countries that could not be served by any other delivery service, including the Soviet Union, Eastern Bloc, Iraq, Iran, China, Vietnam and North Korea.

In 1998, Deutsche Post began to acquire shares in DHL. It finally reached majority ownership in 2001, and completed the purchase in 2002. Deutsche Post then effectively absorbed DHL into its Express division, while expanding the use of the DHL brand to other Deutsche Post divisions, business units and subsidiaries. Today, DHL Express shares its DHL brand with other Deutsche Post business units, such as DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain.

Origins

Larry Hillblom was studying law at University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law in the late 1960s and had little money. He started running courier duty between San Francisco andLos Angeles, picking up packages for the last flight of the day, and returning on the first flight the next morning, up to five times a week.

When he graduated, Hillblom decided to go into the courier business himself. He found a niche that no other company was filling, to fly bills of lading from San Francisco to Honolulu. By flying the documents ahead of the freight they could be processed prior to vessel arrival and save valuable time after arrival.

The Initials

Hillblom put up a portion of his student loans to start the company, bringing in his two friends Adrian Dalsey and Robert Lynn as partners, with their combined initials of their last names as the company name (DHL). All three shared a Plymouth Duster that they drove around San Francisco to pick up the documents in suitcases, then rushed to the airport to book flights using another relatively new invention, the corporate credit card. As the business took off, they started hiring new couriers to join the company. Their first hires were Max and Blanche Kroll, whose apartment in Hawaii often became a makeshift flophouse for their couriers.

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