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DHL quickly developed into an express delivery service between California and Hawaii. With the success of their delivery service, Bank of America became their Primary customer, using DHL to handle all of their letters of credit and other documentation. DHL began branching out into the international marked in the 1970’s flying routes to the Far East. During this time FedEx was developing its overnight delivery network so DHL decided to focus further developing its international service.
HISTORY OF THE AIR CARGO INDUSTRY5During the 70’s DHL had begun delivery service to Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. With the growth of UPS and FedEx, DHL was not a major figure in the US anymore even though 97% of the nation’s 500 largest companies were their customers. DHL continued to remain focused on overseas expansion. In 1985 both FedEx and UPS entered the international delivery market. DHL had to find a way to not be outdone by its competitors. DHL began delivery in the Communist-bloc countries, territories that Federal Express and UPS could not reach. Between 1986 and 1987, DHL’s volume rose 34%. Today DHL controls 40% of the market when it comes to global express shipments.Evolution of Air Cargo TechnologiesThe evolution of technology in air cargo has been astonishing. All three major carriers have introduced their own systems to help speed the process of scanning, sorting and tracking. In1982 DHL is the first air express company to use state-of-the-art packet-switching to track packages and aid communications between DHL and its staff. DHL introduced internet tracking of all shipments in 1996 and went wireless in 1999. In 1984 FedEx presented the first PC-based automated shipping system and then in 1986 they started using hand-held bar code scanners that captured package details. At the same time DHL introduced internet tracking FedEx became the first company to allow customer to process shipments online with FedEx InterNetShip. The 90’s were good to UPS, in 1992 we saw UPS establish electronic tracking on all ground packages, in 1994 UPS.com went live and in 1996 UPS online tracking software provided real-time images ofthe receiver’s signature as well as allowed the customer to track up to 100 shipments and a time. The evolution of technology has helped skyrocket these companies and provide phenomenal customer service all within the grasp of our keyboards.
HISTORY OF THE AIR CARGO INDUSTRY6The sorting hubs for these companies are just as impressive as the technology. In Memphis, TN, between 10:30 pm and 2:07 am planes are lining up to be unloaded. Yes, FedEx operates down to the minute. Approximately 180,00 packages on each side of the facility (west and east) will be unloaded, sorted and loaded back up on 140 aircraft and sent back on their way.