DHL Express

Deutsche Post AG
DHL Express
Industry Express Logistics
Founded 1969
Headquarters Bonn, Germany
Key people
Ken Allen (Chairman)[1]
Adrian Dalsey (Co-founder)
Larry Hillblom (Co-founder)
Robert Lynn (Co-founder)
Products DHL Express Worldwide
DHL Express 9:00
DHL Express 12:00
Number of employees
Parent Deutsche Post

DHL Express[2] is a division of the German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL providing international express mail services. Deutsche Post DHL is the world's largest logistics company operating around the world,[3] particularly in sea and air mail.[4][5]

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 Cuba, the Soviet Union, Eastern Bloc, Iraq, Iran, China, Vietnam and North Korea.

In 1998, Deutsche Post began to acquire shares in DHL. It 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.


Old DHL logo before its purchase by Deutsche Post AG
Traditional DHL subsidiary in Steinfurt (Germany) sharing premises and logistics with Deutsche Post
DHL boat in Amsterdam, carrying DHL delivery bicycles on board.
DHL advertising on the Tren de la Costa light railway, Buenos Aires
DHL semitrailer truck


While Larry Hillblom was studying law at University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law in the late 1960s, he accepted a job as a courier for the insurance company Michael's, Poe & Associates (MPA). He started running courier duty between Oakland International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, 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.[6]:12

After he graduated, Hillblom met with MPA salesman Adrian Dalsey and they planned to expand MPA's concept of fast delivery to other business enterprises. They flew between Honolulu and Los Angeles, transporting bills of lading for their first client, Seatrain Lines.[6]:17

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 surnames as the company name (DHL). They shared a Plymouth Duster sedan 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.

Domestic expansion

In the 1970s, DHL was an international delivery company, and the only one offering overnight service. The only major competitor in the overnight market was Federal Express (FedEx), which did not open its first international service until 1981, expanding to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Nevertheless, the domestic market was extremely profitable, and DHL was the third largest courier behind FedEx and the UPS.

Deutsche Post purchase

Deutsche Post began to acquire shares in DHL in 1998, reaching majority ownership in 2001. Following the completion of the purchase in 2002, Deutsche Post 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, DHL Freight, DHL Supply Chain, and DHL Global Mail.

All US domestic flights were handled by DHL Airways, Inc. which in 2003 was renamed ASTAR Air Cargo following a management buyout. DHL's first airline still remains with over 550 pilots in service, as of October 2008.[7]

DHL G-BIKC: ex British Airways Boeing 757, converted to cargo type in 2001 - Landing at Madrid Airport (Spain) - Old DHL color scheme and logo .


DHL Express's global headquarters are part of the Deutsche Post headquarters in Bonn.

Headquarters for the Americas are located in Plantation, Florida, USA, while its Asia-Pacific and emerging markets headquarters are located in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. The European hub is in Leipzig, Germany.

Most of DHL Express' business is incorporated as DHL International GmbH.

Major competitors include FedEx, UPS, TOLL, TNT and national post carriers such as United States Postal Service (USPS) and Royal Mail. However, DHL has a minor partnership with the USPS, which allows DHL to deliver small packages to the recipient through the USPS network known as DHL Global Mail, now known as DHL eCommerce. It is also the sole provider for transferring USPS mail in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

DHL offers worldwide services, including deliveries to countries such as Iraq, A, and Myanmar (formerly Burma). As it is German-owned, DHL is not affected by U.S. embargoes or sanctions and will ship to Cuba[25] and North Korea.[26][27] However, there are strict codes for delivering to North Korea, as the country has shaky relations with the West.[26]

As DHL is no longer a United States company, it is not allowed to make domestic flights between U.S. airports. DHL contracts these services to other providers.[20]

Environmental record

DHL has taken measures to control their environmental impact by use of the alternative fuel vehicles. DHL changed vehicles in certain delivery fleets in order to use alternative fuels. Certain new vehicles use compressed natural gas, to which DHL hopes to convert 50% of their vehicles in the future.[28]

On 16 September 2005, DHL won a High Court injunction establishing an exclusion zone around each of its 288 buildings in the UK as well as the homes of its 18,000 UK employees. The firm has been the subject of a campaign of intimidation because of their business with Huntingdon Life Sciences. The judge banned protesters from coming within 50 yards (46 m) of any DHL premises or the homes of their employees as well as any organized demonstration within 100 yards (91 m) unless the police had been given four hours' notice. The injunction also protects anyone doing business with DHL from intimidation.[29]

DHL aviation

Main article: DHL Aviation

Deutsche Post owns five airline subsidiaries operating for DHL Express, operating a total of 96 aircraft and another 21 aircraft on orders, which are collectively referred to as DHL Aviation. Additionally, DHL Express is an equal partner in a sixth airline that operates for DHL Express:


DHL-colored Team Penske Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 racing cars of Penske Racing

For several years, DHL was the primary sponsor of the Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans Prototypes in the International Motor Sports Association American Le Mans Series. DHL also sponsors Ryan Hunter-Reay's #28 IndyCar Series car for Andretti Autosport since 2011. With DHL, Hunter-Reay won the championship for the 2012 IndyCar Series season as well as the 2014 Indianapolis 500. DHL were the main title sponsor of the Jordan Formula One team during 2002. Since then, DHL has become a regular track-side sponsor at various races throughout each year, as well as becoming the 'Official Logistics Partner' of the sport. Since 2007, they also sponsor the DHL Fastest Lap Award for the driver that achieves the most fastest laps in a season.[30]

A Jordan Grand Prix Formula One car at the US Grand Prix at the Indianapolis track.

Manchester United Football Club announced them as their first training kit sponsor in August 2011, agreeing to a four-year deal with DHL reported to be worth £40 million; it is believed to be the first instance of training kit sponsorship in English football.[31][32] In 2014, FC Bayern Munich agreed to a six-year sponsorship deal with DHL.[33] In 2012, the company became the main sponsor of League of Ireland club Bohemian F.C.[34]

DHL is the current title sponsor of the South African Western Cape Rugby Union teams Western Province and the Stormers. This is came into effect on 1 January 2011 for a period of three years.[35]

For the 2011–12 Volvo Ocean Race DHL was one of four race partners providing logistics for this event.[36][37]

In 2014, the company is sponsoring, with IMG Fashion, DHL Exported, which is aimed at "assisting designers who are already successful locally to gain momentum internationally".[38] DHL Exported will "sponsor a chosen designer for two consecutive seasons at" the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week or Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo.[38] IMG Fashion "will accept applications from February 17 through April 2 at".[38]

Expanding its support to various cultural endeavors, DHL signed as the Official Logistics partner for Cirque du Soleil. DHL transports up to 2000 tones and 80 freight containers utilizing air, sea and land to transport the equipment from one city to the next.[39]

In 2015 DHL became the main sponsor of Italian volleyball club Modena Volley, covering the whole men's SuperLega Italian championship and the CEV Champions League.[40]

DHL is a major sponsor of Surf Life Saving Australia.

See also


  1. "Deutsche Post DHL - Ken Allen".
  2. "DHL" stands for Dalsey, Hillblom & Lynn, the surnames of the founders.
  3. DHL/DPAG. "DHL Divisions". Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  4. "Deutsche Post DHL: Kunde statt Chaos - manager magazin - Unternehmen". manager magazin. 22 July 2010.
  5. "Top 10 Unternehmen". 12 June 2013.
  6. 1 2 Scurlock, James D. (2012). King Larry: The Life and Ruins of an American Billionaire Genius. New York: Scribner. ISBN 9781416589228.
  8. "Information regarding the air accident". Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  9. "Information regarding the air accident". Archived from the original on 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  10. Flight Safety. "DHL". Archived from the original on May 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  11. "DHL expansion controversy leads to strike". 2004-10-27. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  12. DHL. "DHL Global Press Release". Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  13. DHL. "DHL UK press release". Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  14. Flight Global (2008-01-28). "AeroLogic outlines launch and expansion plans". Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  15. DHL. "DHL to restructure U.S. express business". Archived from the original on 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  16. "UPS CEO says DHL deal could change". Cincinnati Business Courier.
  18. "ALPA Calls Upon Congress to Hold New Hearings on DHL-UPS Deal". Reuters. 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  19. "Gulf Daily News » Local News » DHL official is mourned".
  20. 1 2 Aaron Smith (2008-11-10). "DHL cuts 9,500 U.S. jobs". CNN. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  22. CNBC. "UPS, DHL Scrap Airlift Agreement Talks". Retrieved 2009-09-13.
  23. "Gov. Beshear Participates in Ribbon-Cutting for DHL's Global Hub in Northern Kentucky".
  24. "DHL - Press Release - English".
  25. DHL. "Cuba". Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  26. 1 2 DHL. "Korea". Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  27. Jong, Hwa Sun (May 12, 2012). "DHL office works well in Pyongyang". Pyongyang times. George Washington University.
  28. "DHL Makes CNG Alternative Fuel of Choice in UAE". 24 March 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  29. "DHL obtains court injunction". Victims of Animal Rights Extremism. Archived from the original on 2008-12-27. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  30. "DHL to sponsor Formula 1's fastest laps trophy". Brand Republic. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  31. "DHL delivers new shirt deal". Manchester United. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  32. "Manchester United unveils two new commercial deals". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  33. "FCB and DHL announce partnership - FC Bayern München AG". FC Bayern München AG.
  34. "Bohs agree sponsorship deal with DHL - - League of Ireland".
  35. "DHL new sponsor for WP/ Stormers Rugby". The Stormers. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  36. Volvo Ocean Race. "Volvo Ocean Race". Volvo Ocean Race.
  37. And AFC Champions league Official Timing and Logistics Partner
  38. 1 2 3 Lockwood, Lisa (5 February 2014). "DHL, IMG Fashion Launch Program to Boost Designers". WWD. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  39. DHL. "Partnerships: Cirque du Soleil." Retrieved June 20, 2016 from
  40. Kennedy, Mike (2 October 2015). "Friday's Daily Deal round-up: Love, Raina and more". SportsProMedia. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
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