Express delivery services for letters, correspondence, parcels, and cargo are quite a profitable business, even today. What can we say about what happened fifty or a hundred years ago, when the world did not yet have such extensive logistics systems and infrastructure?
And after all, it was then that the history of the largest courier services began, which are still functioning properly today. UPS, FedEX, DHL – these companies are an example of corporate culture, careful attitude to the packages of their customers, and speed of delivery. And even though their services are quite expensive, the client base is not shrinking. Perhaps such loyalty of customers was laid down at the stage of formation? The answer lies in the history of the most successful courier services in the world.
Photo by Artem Podrez: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-and-woman-checking-the-packages-5025635/
UPS: From Notes to Packages
On August 28, 1907, James Casey founded AMC in Seattle, Washington. The transportation of letters and documents was carried out by couriers on foot, on bicycles, or in mail cars by rail. However, in 1913, with the development of road transport, the company began to purchase delivery vehicles – Ford-T, which at that time were the only budget car. Almost everyone could afford to buy it. Maneuverable motorcycles also appeared in the fleet of the courier service.
A few years later, AMC merged with a rival firm, allowing business owners to rethink their attitude to the company’s global mission. The matter is that just these years the period of an active form of telephony has fallen. People began to use couriers to deliver messages much less often – why pay money if you can just call the addressee-subscriber and say everything personally?
Therefore, the founders of the company decided to refocus on the delivery of orders from pharmacies and stores, in which they succeeded significantly. By 1918, Seattle’s three largest department stores had completely outsourced order delivery. And in 1919, it was decided to completely abandon the work with messages and switch to the delivery of parcels. At the same time, the company got its name, which is still widely known today – UnitedParcelService (UPS).
Today the company employs 395 thousand people. UPS is a leader in delivery speed, serving customers in approximately 220 countries. A distinctive feature is the presence of its own jet aircraft (the fleet has 237 aircraft).
Did you know that you can use all the most popular delivery services and use a track my package service to watch all your parcels at the same time in the same place? PKGE.net is one of the most convenient websites of tracking your worldwide orders.
FedEX: Reactive Delivery
FedEX is arguably the most famous shipping and parcel delivery company today. The courier service appeared in 1971 in the USA. The company was founded by visionary and adventurer Fred Smith. He reasonably thought the time savings were worth paying a little more for shipping. Therefore, initially, the company was engaged exclusively in air transportation on small Falcon cargo aircraft.
Despite the fact that the business was initially unprofitable (the company was losing about a million dollars a month), it attracted serious investments. As we can see now – not in vain. Already in 1977, FedEX began to grow steadily, as restrictions on private freight transport were lifted. The company acquired several Boeings, which became the basis of its air fleet.
The heyday of the service can be considered the 90s of the last century. It was then that the expansion of the global freight transportation market took place. However, the economic recession of the 2000s that followed led to a significant reduction in orders for FedEX.
Today, this delivery service is one of the fastest, but also the most expensive in the world.
DHL: from Private to Public
One of the most interesting is the history of the German courier company DHL. It was founded in 1969 as the primary mail carrier between San Francisco and Honolulu. However, the company quickly began to capture the courier markets around the world. The expansion was quite aggressive – the company worked not only with the generally accepted list of countries with traditional routes. DHL began to offer its services for the delivery of correspondence and cargo to those countries whose postal services markets were closed to competitors – the USSR, Vietnam, North Korea, China, Iran, and Iraq.
In the 90s, the German government began to buy up the company’s shares. By 2002, DHL became wholly owned by the German state postal service. Today, this company is unique in its kind: in Germany, it performs the functions of the state post office, but at the same time it is actively working in other countries as a private delivery service.