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 on 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 traveled westbound from Hawaii into the Far East & the Pacific Rim, then on to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. In just four years DHL had expanded to provide services to 3,000 customers with over 300 staff.
By 1977, DHL had extended its range of services and started to deliver packages as well as documents. 1982 saw a serious spurt of growth, with an additional 30 countries and territories added in this one year alone. In the following year, DHL was the first air express company to open offices in Easter Europe. In 1986, DHL was the pioneer in China.
The third party airport-to-airport business (GFS) started for DHL Aviation in 1989, and was managed by the DHL Aviation Commercial Group (ACG). This was to support the airlines plans for growth, generating critical volumes of freight for the upgrade in aircraft planned for the coming years: for the benefit of third party clients as well as the airline.
By 1995, ACG was able to take advantage of the overnight network using routings via the multi-hub structure that was developing in the network. The introduction of by-pass flights enabled a review of the pricing matrix so that customers could really benefit financially as well as enjoy a greater number of uplift options.
In 1998, flights to Africa began. By 1999, the second flight to JFK ensured extra capacity for our freight product. Throughout the 2000s, ACG clients have benefited from the constant upgrade in the DHL fleet with a range of A300s, B757s and MD11s.
In 2007 ACG changed its department name to Air Capacity Sales (ACS) in order to align itself with DHL Aviations new Global Aviation structure, following this change and to align our Air Cargo product portfolio we launched our new range of air cargo products on 1st October 2008. Today, ACS clients are able to access capacity on DHLs extensive network. DHLs dedicated aircraft are able to move a variety of freight, from general cargo to specialist goods. A modern fleet with DHLs own handling teams, a regional management structure coupled with attractive handover and handout times provide a comprehensive service for DHLs extensive customer base. With a solid and successful background, ACS is central to the plans of DHL for the future.