History
1969 to present

Just months after man's first landing on the Moon, DHL began operating the first international door-to-door express delivery service in the world. When Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn established DHL in 1969, they simultaneously invented the international air express industry.

In the beginning, the three partners delivered shipping documents by air, so that they arrived at customs offices before the freight, and enabled goods to pass through customs with less delay.

1969
On 25 September, Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn (the D, H and L in our company name) incorporate DHL. The company begins by operating a door-to-door express delivery service, transporting documents only between San Francisco, California and Honolulu, Hawaii.

1970
After one year, DHL is handling shipments for 40 clients and expanding its operations to include Guam, Los Angeles and Portland, Ohio.

1971
With a rapidly growing network of enthusiastic customers in the USA, DHL begins to meet demands for an international service by opening territories in the Far East and Pacific Rim.

The Philippines becomes operational and the US network continues to develop.

1972
DHL International is founded with the opening of an office in Hong Kong, and this is followed later that year by offices being established in Japan and Singapore.

The Sydney office opens and becomes the headquarters for Australia.

1973
Now with over 3,000 clients and 314 staff, DHL uses its substantial experience and expertise in the international air express industry to commence services to New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand.

1974
This year DHL handles over 500,000 shipments.

Operations in the UK commence, spurred by the increasing importance of London as a key financial centre.

1975
DHL continues to move into Continental Europe, opening offices in Amsterdam and Paris and begins a service to South Korea. DHL is the first express delivery company to open up in the Middle East with offices in Tehran, Iran.

1976
DHL opens in Mexico and Scotland. DHL begins a service to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

1977
DHL opens service centres in Canada, Korea, Norway and Germany. The company also develops its network in the Middle East with offices opening in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

DHL begins to move away from pure document delivery by introducing the Small Parcel Express service, which later became Worldwide Parcel Express (WPX).

1978
DHL opens in the Caribbean and becomes the first international air express company to offer a service in Latin America, starting with Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.

In Europe, DHL Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Ireland, Sweden and Belgium become operational.

Nigeria becomes the first territory in Africa to open up to DHL.

1979
DHL reaches its 10th birthday. It now operates over 360 service centres and has more than 85,000 customers who rely on DHL for express service.

DHL continues to grow in Africa with the opening of offices in South Africa and Kenya.

In Latin America, the office in Argentina opens.

Lebanon and Oman are established in the Middle East.

Denmark, Andorra, Spain and the Canary Islands are opened in Europe.

1980
DHL expands into many new territories. Service Centres are set up in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, Bangladesh, China, India, Sri Lanka, Austria, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe.

The organisation is now so large that it is re-structured into regions, linked by a telecommunications network.

1981
DHL opens in Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Cyprus, Gabon, Haiti, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Nepal, New Caledonia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal and Turkey.

1982
From Anguilla to Zaire, 1982 marks a year of acceleration in the establishment of DHL service centres throughout the world.

Services start to Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bolivia, Bonaire, Cape Verde, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Iceland, Martinique, Mauritania, Montserrat, Nevis, Nicaragua, St. Barthelemey, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Senegal, Tonga, Turks and Caicos Islands and Zaire.

DHL is the first air express company to formulate plans to use state-of-the art packet-switching to track packages and aid communications between DHL staff.

1983
A momentous year as DHL forges ahead of the competition and opens up Eastern Europe to the express delivery industry for the first time.

DHL also starts service to Belize, Bosnia, Botswana, Brunei, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Liberia, Maldives, Malta, Seychelles, Slovenia, Surinam and Togo and the Channel Islands.

In the US, the overnight programme is developed, using the USA airline system from two hubs at Cincinnati and Salt Lake City.

1984
DHL continues its massive global growth programme. As well as opening in territories as far apart as Benin and Vanuatu, the first automated customer service system is deployed in Washington DC.

DHL starts services to Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Benin, Congo, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea Republic, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Qatar, Russia, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu.

The Unix operating system was adopted for DHL hardware and software and the first automated customer service system was deployed in Washington DC, USA.

1985
This year marks a huge leap forward in DHL's ability to service customer needs in Europe, with the opening of the new international hub in Brussels, Belgium - the largest sorting facility outside the US.

DHL starts service in Bulgaria, Burkina Fasso, Djibouti, Mozambique, Nauru, Somalia and Swaziland.

1986
Service to the People's Republic of China is formalised with an exclusive joint venture between DHL and Sinotrans.

DHL starts services to the Cook Islands, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Reunion Island, Gambia, Lesotho, Tahiti, Madagascar, Mali, Uganda and Zambia.

WorldMail is introduced - a service for the cross-border transport and distribution of mailings.

DHL introduces new standards of customer service. Delivery targets before 10:30 and-12 noon and end-of-day are established. All incoming calls have to be answered within three rings and all calls that require a response are returned within 60 minutes.

1987
DHL begins delivery service to Chad, Comoros, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

The Global airwaybill is introduced to facilitate further the sending of shipments.

1988
Between 1985 and 1988 DHL doubles its customer base to more than half a million and quadruples the number of shipments it handles. It's also the first express delivery company to anticipate the demand for total logistics solutions.

Namibia, St. Lucia and Vietnam are added to the list of countries served by DHL.

In the US, the Cincinnati hub is expanded to cope with continued growth.

DHL Budapest is established as a joint venture with Hungary's state-owned transport company Hungarocamion. Following this, DHL's Eastern Europe head office is relocated from Frankfurt to Budapest.

DHL Middle East introduces the Express Club for its customers, providing members with an enhanced service.

1989
Celebrations take place around the world to mark the 20th anniversary of the beginning of DHL.

The Brussels hub is expanded to keep pace with explosive growth.

Services to Tanzania and Laos are set up.

A brand new headquarters building for DHL Japan is established in Tokyo.

Easyship, an integrated shipping processing system is introduced to allow customers to have complete control in preparing and tracking shipments, all from their PC.

1990
DHL signs an historic Global Transport Alliance with Lufthansa Cargo, Japan Airlines and Nissho Iwai.

Start of services to Bhutan, Cambodia, Cuba, Equatorial New Guinea, Libya, Macedonia and Sao Tome.

With the old Eastern European countries opening up trade with the West, DHL sets up in the Czech Republic.

DHL initiates Easylynk services together with Western Union. This pioneering service combines an electronic transmission via satellite to a DHL office for printing and onward despatch and delivery (the service survived as Satellite Express until the advent of electronic mail).

DHL sets up its first Express Logistics Centres around the world to service its customers' future requirements. The vision the company communicates to its customers is the ability to provide next morning delivery of their inventories anywhere in the world.

1991
DHL becomes the first express delivery service to deal with a Baltic state - Latvia (formerly part of the Soviet Republic).

Offices open in Tirana, Albania and services start to Estonia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, M