Logistics, The DHL Way
Authored by: Sean  

Deutsche Post DHL is the world’s largest company when it comes to Logistics. You and I know it as DHL of course. Whether it is their advertisements or their slogan of Excellence. Simply Delivered, all of us see a DHL delivery man in action almost every day.


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The genesis of this company goes back to the year 1969 when the company simply focused on delivering documents between 2 points only – Honolulu and San Francisco. The letters DHL actually stand for Dalsey, Hillblom and Lynn, the last names of the 3 founders of this company who drove around San Francisco to collect documents and book them into flights.


Early 1970s saw the expansion of DHL into countries which were not popular destinations when it came to courier services. Perhaps the one major difference in the success of DHL is the fact that this company dared to go where no Logistics company did. DHL conquered extraordinarily difficult countries such as North Korea, China, Iran and even Iran and ensure that courier services became easily accessible to people everywhere.


























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DHL actually began by hiring couriers on an “as and when needed” basis. In today’s world, overnight delivery is something that is pretty run-of-the-mill. But way back in the 1970s, DHL not only offered overnight service but also was a global presence when it came to courier deliveries. Today, the company has more than 4000 global offices, covers 230 countries and has more than 250 aircraft.


The delivery model of DHL Express has been the subject of many a debate in management schools and within the industry itself. Perhaps the one thing that this company did in a very different manner is to focus on service and explore flexible and unique options when it came to transportation.


DHL has, in fact, focused so strongly on supply chain management that it has built a network that integrates different modes of transportation and technology. The company has 3 distinct product lines – courier, express and parcel services. It also ensures that it has standard and customized solutions to offer to its customers. All this simply means that no destination is out of reach when it comes to DHL services.


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DHL has also invested heavily in technology which resulted in things like mobile wireless data scanners, use of SMS for customers to keep track of consignments and acquiring a fleet of Boeing 757s to help them continue to rule the roost. 2002 saw Deutsche Post picking up majority shares in DHL. This move has been great for the parent company! 22.5% of Deutsche Post DHL’s revenues have come from the DHL Express division in the year 2012. DHL Express touched €11.69 billion in revenues. That is truly amazing growth for a company that started with 3 men driving about in their second-hand Plymouth Duster car to pick up and deliver documents. From there to the world’s largest logistics company today, it has been an awesome story indeed.

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