DHL International GmbH is an international courier, package delivery and express mail service, which is a division of the German logistics firm Deutsche Post. The company delivers over 1.5 billion parcels per year.
The company was founded in San Francisco, USA, in 1969 and expanded its service throughout the world by the late 1970s. In 1979, under the name of DHL Air Cargo, the company entered the Hawaiian islands with an inter-island cargo service using two DC-3 and four DC-6 aircraft. Dalsey and Hillblom personally oversaw the daily operations until its eventual bankruptcy closed the doors in 1983. At its peak, DHL Air Cargo employed just over 100 workers, management and pilots.
The company was primarily interested in offshore and intercontinental deliveries, but the success of FedEx prompted their own intra-US expansion starting in 1983.
In 1998, Deutsche Post began to acquire shares in DHL. It reached controlling interest in 2001, and acquired all outstanding shares by December 2002. The company then 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 business units such as DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain. It gained a foothold in the United States when it acquired Airborne Express.