DHL: the founding of DHL, how it works and how it competes with Fedex in the delivery service business
DHL, The Foundation of DHL, How it works and competes with Fedex in the delivery service business
DHL is considered a dynamic and fast-moving company in the world of international logistics and deliveries. Their brand colours, comprised of fiery yellow and aggressive red, are instantly reminiscent. DHL is just as famous as its two main competitors, UPS and Fedex. This is how DHL came to be and how it competes with its main rival, Fedex:
DHL was founded in 1969, the year man landed on the moon. Three entrepreneurs, Adrian Dalsey (D), Larry Hillblom (H) and Robert Lynn (L), came together to invent the international express air delivery services industry. The start was mutated at first as the partners focused on air deliveries only to San Francisco, California and Honolulu. Within a year he had 40 clients and expanded his operations to Guam, Los Angeles and Portland, Ohio.
In those days there was no Internet and all communication was slow. International delivery companies provided people with efficient and fast channels to do business, and all companies embraced these companies in a big way. DHL built on its foundation, establishing offices in the Far East and Pacific Rim in 1971. It established a presence in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Japan in 1972, and was in the UK by 1974. Thereafter it was rapid growth for DHL as it opened offices in continental Europe, South Korea, the Middle East, Mexico, Canada, Norway and Germany, and many other countries.
By its tenth anniversary, in 1979, DHL was operating more than 360 centers and serving more than 85,000 customers. DHL’s expansion and penetration was relentless and by 1982, DHL had a worldwide presence.
DHL introduced many industry firsts – from the now outdated state-of-the-art packet switching for tracking packages in 1982, to today’s global SMS-GPS tracking systems, to airline buying, procurement and more. It has its own fleet of transport vehicles, skilled employees, aircraft and is efficiently interconnected with some twenty committed service providers around the world. DHL is, and will continue to be, a giant among international delivery companies.
How DHL competes with Fedex
FedEx and DHL are in the same line of business. They both started growing at the same time and are still growing as you read this article. What distinguishes these companies is their brand positioning.
Fedex uses color codes to segment its services. FED appears purple, while EX changes color depending on the service. At Fedex Express, Ex and Express are orange, while at Fedex Ground, Ex and Ground are green. Fedex also employs subtle and over-the-top humor in its ads.
DHL, on the other hand, is an aggressive brand builder. It has created ads that directly take on both UPS and Fedex, its two main rivals. Their current branding initiative is focused on superior customer service.
Both Fedex and DHL know the business like the back of their hand, and their brand messages are based on extensive market research. So what brand do you offer? It’s a neck-and-neck situation as the world economy battles a recession. Time will tell which company delivers better.