DHL was formed in 1969, pioneering the air express industry with its first route from San Francisco to Honolulu. The success of the company was founded in its innovative idea of sending out documentation in advance of cargo arriving, thereby speeding up the process of importing goods.
The DHL Network grew incredibly quickly. The company travelled westward from Hawaii into the Far East and Pacific Rim, then the Middle East, Africa and Europe. In just four years, the company had expanded to provide services to 3,000 customers with over 300 staff.
By 1977, it had extended its range of services and started to deliver small packages as well as documents. 1982 saw the first serious spurt of growth, with an additional 30 countries and territories added in this one year alone. The year after, it opened offices in Eastern Europe, the first air express company to do so, and in 1986 it started operations in China, again the first air express company to do so.
The DHL pioneering spirit is still very much part of the company culture today. While its core business is transporting documents and packages, it also offers e-Commerce fulfilment and intelligent logistics solutions, particularly special solutions for various industries such as Automotive and Life Sciences as well as customised solutions for global customers.
Danzas was formed in 1815. After having fought for Napoleon at Waterloo, Louis Danzas joined the transport company Michel l'Eveque in St-Louis. In 1840, Louis Danzas became joint proprietor of the company, and in 1846 Danzas & l'Eveque were entrusted with transporting mail from le Havre to New York. In the following year, they made their first acquisition, and in 1854, the first branch in Switzerland opened, in Basel.
In 1920, the company was one of the first to embrace air transport, and started to use air freight between France and England.
In 1939, Danzas travel agencies in France and Italy organised the emigration of (mainly Jewish) refugees from Nazi Germany. In 1962, the company opened its own freight terminal in Paris. In 1993, the disappearance of customs barriers within the European Union affected sales, and the company took action to modernise itself.
In 2000, the merger between Danzas Intercontinental and Air Express International Corporation made the group worldwide number one in air freight and one of the five leaders in ocean freight, operating in 150 countries.
By the time of 2003's merger with DHL Worldwide Express and Deutsche Post Euro Express, Danzas was the world's leading provider of IT-supported logistics solutions covering worldwide air and ocean freight, global project forwarding, European overland transport, e-business and 4th party logistics.
Deutsche Post Euro Express
Euro Express was set up by Deutsche Post in 1998 as a parcel and distribution network for Germany and Europe. By the time of 2003's merger with DHL Worldwide Express and Danzas, it provided a road-based service through an extensive and reliable European road network for both business and private customers.