Air Transport World

Getting there first; long established outside the U.S., DHL claims to be the leading air-express company worldwide. (company profile)

Guess who operates the largest air-express network in the world. Federal Express? UPS? Emery.? None of the above, says DHL; it's us. At first glance, the claim seems exaggerated. Compare, for instance, DHL'S $2 billion in annual revenues with FedEx's $8 billion or so. And look at DHL'S U.S. operation. With about 12 million shipments a year and about $600 million in revenues, DHL accounts for only about 10% of the U.S. air-express package business. Contrast this with FedEx, which handles well over a million packages per day. But the U.S. is only part of the story. While FedEx and UPS have pushed into the international market only recently and are still losing money on it, and Emery is still trying to wring a profit out of its troubled merger with CF Airfreight, DHL has been solidly planted overseas for years.

DHL operates 1,350 stations worldwide, 960 of them wholly owned. About 1,100 of the stations are outside the U.S., in 188 countries. Including its major distribution hubs in Cincinnati and Brussels, DHL operates through 46 gateways and shipping-and-distribution centers. …

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