The history of Deutsche Post DHL Group
500 years of postal history - from the founding of the modern postal system to the establishment of the world's leading logistics group.
Past and present
Deutsche Post DHL Group will reduce all logistics-related emissions to net zero by the year 2050. In pursuit of this ambitious new target, Deutsche Post DHL Group hopes to contribute meaningfully to achieving the goal of limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius established at the 2015 Paris climate conference (COP 21), as well as to the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Deutsche Post DHL Group also wants to become the market leader in green logistics and plans to expand its portfolio of green products and services to help customers achieve their own climate protection targets.
UK Mail acquisition
With the acquisition of UK Mail, one of the largest integrated mail and parcel operators within the UK, Deutsche Post DHL Group further strengthens its European cross-border parcel network. The acquisition will allow the Group to bring its expertise in e-commerce and parcel delivery together with UK Mail's existing customer base and network.
High-level cooperation on ParcelCopter
DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, Deutsche Telekom as well as Deutsche Post DHL Group and RWTH Aachen University are to launch a joint research project on drones. The objective is the safe integration of unmanned aircraft in air traffic.
DHL now delivers parcels to Smart car trunks
DHL Parcel and Smart today announced a joint pilot in which owners of Smart cars can use their vehicles as mobile addresses for car drops starting in autumn. The project partners have worked in recent months to develop and test a solution to ensure high security standards for merchandise and vehicles.
DHL launched its new brand campaign with the tagline "The Power of Global Trade". The campaign's guiding theme is the deep connection between trade and logistics and the impact it has in improving people's lives. The campaign underscores the influence of global trade on people's well-being and the important role DHL plays within this area.
Deutsche Post DHL announced its new "Strategy 2020: Focus.Connect.Grow." - a continuation of the positive momentum generated by the successful "Strategy 2015" defining the Group's next phase of development. Strategy 2020 outlines the Group's strategic priorities for the coming years and underscores its goal to become the company that defines the logistics industry.
Deutsche Post DHL Group is switching to electric vehicles for its delivery services in Bonn and the surrounding region, making the city the first location in Germany with a carbon-free vehicle concept. The pilot project is unique worldwide and shall serve as a role model for other cities and regions. It sees about 141 electric vehicles on the road by 2016, all for the parcel delivery and the combined mail and parcel delivery. resulting in decreased CO 2 emissions of over 500 tons per year. As part of the project, the StreetScooter, developed by Deutsche Post in cooperation with StreetScooter GmbH and institutes at the RWTH Aachen University, will be put into service in the summer of 2013.
DHL expands global hub for the Americas
DHL celebrates the inauguration of its newly expanded hub for the Americas at the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky (CVG) Airport. The event marks the culmination of a US$105 million, four-year effort to enhance this facility to meet the growing international shipping demand of large multinational corporations as well as small business customers. The CVG global hub sits at the heart of the DHL U.S. network with flights connecting customers from over 220 countries and territories worldwide to every corner of the U.S. In addition to global hubs in Hong Kong and Germany, the CVG hub completes the backbone of the DHL intercontinental network.
Educational opportunities expanded
Deutsche Post DHL Group has renewed its contract through 2015 with the global network Teach For All. The enhanced collaboration between Deutsche Post DHL Group and Teach For All will help establish three new country partnerships, including one with Teach For The Philippines starting in 2013. Since 2010, Deutsche Post DHL Group has directly supported the global network and Teach For All network partners in India, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Spain. Since 2009, the company has also been the largest sponsor of the German partner, Teach First Deutschland. In addition, the existing partnership with SOS Children's Villages was expanded to include Peru, where Deutsche Post DHL Group has committed to help develop a training program for Peruvian youths. Deutsche Post DHL Group has now signed contracts with SOS Children's Villages in over ten countries.
Market position in Asia expanded
DHL opens its biggest express hub in Asia - the US$175 million DHL Express North Asia Hub at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The company also announced plans to further invest US$132 million (EUR100 million) to add eight dedicated aircraft to service high demand routes between Shanghai and North Asia, Europe and the US, by 2014. The Hub is a logistics milestone in DHL's Asia Pacific network. With over 30 years of experience, DHL is the leading logistics brand in Asia. DHL divisions Express, Global Forwarding and Supply Chain are the clear market leaders in the international express, air freight and contract logistics business in the region as well as in many of the region’s most dynamic country markets such as China. DHL’s outstanding market position is based on its extensive investment in infrastructure and its own array of services. DHL plans to generate one third of its revenues in the region by 2017.
All mail centers modernized
The Stuttgart mail center is the last site to begin operating the new Großbrief mail item sorting system. Now all 82 Deutsche Post mail centers are equipped with the world leader in cutting-edge mail sorting machines. Deutsche Post has installed a total of 288 sorting machines for standard and compact letters as well 87 machines for Großbrief and Maxibrief items since 2009, an investment of around EUR400 million. This modernization effort will help ensure Germany’s fast, high-quality mail services into the future.
Investments in parcel network
In the coming years Deutsche Post DHL Group will invest approximately EUR750 million in the modernization of its Germany-wide parcel network. The investment will create a strong foundation for further growth and for new, innovative services. Deutsche Post DHL Group is both the market leader and leading innovator in the German parcel market. New business models in e-commerce - a market that is booming - and evolving consumer behavior also require new shipping solutions. This is the largest investment in the parcel infrastructure since the 1990s.
Deutsche Post develops own electric car
Deutsche Post and StreetScooter GmbH, together with prominent partners from research and industry, are developing a pioneering design for an electric car to be used for mail and parcel delivery. Prominent institutes of the RWTH Aachen University will also continue to be part of the project. The objective of this mutual endeavor is to create a completely new delivery vehicle that meets the special requirements of Deutsche Post in terms of suitability for daily operational use and economic efficiency. It should also produce zero emissions. The electric vehicle which is to be developed for Deutsche Post's mail and parcel delivery must be able to handle up to 200 stops and start-up procedures and be in use up to 300 days a year.
GARD expands disaster management
Deutsche Post DHL Group and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) together announce an expansion of the new Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) training program. Following the two pilot projects in 2009 at the Makassar and Palu airports in Indonesia, disaster-preparedness training will now be conducted on a regular basis, at an additional 19 airports in Europe, Asia, Near East and Latin America by 2013. The goal is to provide airport logistics management training to airport personnel, local safety experts and representatives from national-level disaster agencies so that they are prepared to respond effectively in the event of a natural disaster. The follow-up assessment model "GARD Plus" was developed in 2012 as a way to ensure successful implementation of the GARD training over the long term.
By launching its digital letter the E-Postbrief, Deutsche Post has ushered in a new era in communication by mail. Using this modern technology private individuals, businesses and administrative bodies can use the internet to communicate with one another safely and securely. The E-Postbrief is as binding, confidential and reliable as a letter and as fast as an e-mail.
Effective immediately, the Group will be known as Deutsche Post DHL Group. The new name stands for clear structures, a new transparency in the Group and integrated solutions for customers.
The new Group strategy comprises in essence a Group structure focused on Deutsche Post and DHL and a tighter interlinking of the DHL divisions, among other things through the creation of an additional overarching executive committee. In addition, there will be programs to simplify planning processes, an even stronger focus on the ever-changing needs of customers as well as support for the open leadership culture, propagated by Frank Appel, by means of an incentive system that places results and respect-oriented cooperation in the foreground.
Sale of Postbank
Deutsche Post AG sells a minority interest of 22.9 percent of Postbank to Deutsche Bank. The transaction is concluded on January 14, 2009, and is the first tranche in the sale process. The 22.9 percent minority interest corresponds to 50 million Postbank shares. With the sale, Deutsche Post withdraws gradually from the banking business. Deutsche Bank has the option of acquiring another 27.4 percent of Postbank in the following three years.
Leipzig/Halle air hub opens
DHL has officially opened its new European air freight hub at Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany. The hub, one of Europe's largest construction sites, expands DHL's international network, providing greater connectivity to global growth markets and enabling DHL to improve its overall customer service.
The decisive criteria for the choice of location were the position of the airport, its proximity to growth markets in Eastern Europe, the long-term planning security with comprehensive authorization for night-time flights, the wealth of motivated and highly qualified locally-based personnel, and impressive infrastructure which allows for a future-oriented combination of the carriers air, road and rail.
Leipzig is the first DHL facility able to meet its needs for electricity, heating and cooling energy, to a large extent self-sufficiently. This is ensured by a cogeneration unit for combined heat and power generation, together with 1,000 square meters of solar cells on the roof of the hangar workshop for the generation of electricity from solar energy. In addition, two underground cisterns, with a capacity of 300 cubic meters each collecting around 3,000 cubic meters of rain water each year, will be used instead of drinking water to wash the aircraft.
The Group starts global climate protection program GoGreen
Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to reduce its carbon footprint for every letter mailed, every container shipped and every square meter of warehouse space used by 30 percent by the year 2020. With this target, the No. 1 global logistics company is the first major company in its industry to set a quantifiable climate protection target.
The key levers of the climate protection program are the optimization of the air and ground fleets, improved energy efficiency in buildings and plants, the development of innovative technologies, motivating employees, and the involvement of subcontractors. Furthermore, the Group will be expanding its range of GoGreen products and services and introducing them onto new markets.
Frank Appel becomes the new CEO of Deutsche Post
Following Klaus Zumwinkel's resignation from his office as Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Post, the Supervisory Board appoints Frank Appel as his successor on February 18.
A member of the Board of Management since 2002, Appel was previously in charge of the LOGISTICS Division, Mail International and regulation management as well as bearing cross-divisional responsibility for the 100 largest customers (Global Customer Solutions).
Opening of the DHL Innovation Center
The Group further expands its role as an innovation leader in worldwide logistics with the opening of the DHL Innovation Center in Troisdorf near Bonn. The mission of this state-of-the-art research and development center is to develop new, highly innovative and marketable products from the logistics trends of the future.
The projects carried out in the DHL Innovation Center are realized together with innovation partners from the business world such as IBM, Intel and SAP. In addition, the DHL Innovation Center maintains research partnerships with the logistics institutes of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston and Saragossa as well as the German Fraunhofer institutes. The showrooms attached to the center provide customers, business partners and interested visitors with a closer look at the latest technologies in the logistics industry.
Capital market program "Roadmap to Value"
The Group seeks to better leverage its outstanding market position to create additional value for its shareholders with the capital market program "Roadmap to Value." Its goal is to make the company not only the number one for customers and employees, but also the most attractive investment in the industry as well.
"Following an expansion phase to build the leading logistics company worldwide, we're now entering a new era," says Chairman of the Management Board Dr. Klaus Zumwinkel. "We are implementing a series of long-term measures in order to raise profitability, generate more cash, increase payouts to shareholders and improve transparency."
The Group, with its brands DHL, Deutsche Post and Postbank, seeks to become the first choice for all customers with the "First Choice" service campaign. Consistent, comprehensive employee orientation to customer satisfaction is the key to reaching this goal.
A total of over 1,000 individual projects worldwide will be initiated within the scope of First Choice. The focus is on increasing customer satisfaction among both private and business customers.
The Group acquires Exel
In December 2005, Deutsche Post acquires the British logistics company Exel for 5.5 billion euros. At that time, approximately 111,000 employees work for Exel in 135 countries.
Exel specializes in providing transport and logistics solutions for key customers. The company concludes the first half of 2005 with a 55 percent leap in profits to 172 million pounds (251 million euros).
DHL introduces new corporate wear
Following extensive employee surveys and practical tests in various climate zones as well as consideration of cultural differences, DHL introduces new, standardized corporate wear in August 2005.
Some 1.4 million items of clothing are delivered to 110,000 DHL employees in over 200 countries and territories within nine months. The collection includes more than 60 individual pieces in three to five different lengths, 19 widths and up to 113 sizes.
Majority of Deutsche Post shares held privately
In June 2005, KfW Bankengruppe sells off 126.5 million shares in Deutsche Post. Over 53.8 percent of all Deutsche Post shares are now in free float. Five years after the IPO, the majority of Deutsche Post shares are no longer owned by the government.
Postbank goes public
Postbank's IPO is the largest new issue in Germany since Deutsche Post AG's IPO in November 2000 and is also one of the largest issues ever on the German capital market. Postbank stock (symbol DPB) has been freely traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and all German regional stock exchanges since June 2004.
The stock was more than two and a half times oversubscribed. It was very well received by institutional investors in Germany and abroad, with an issue price of 28.50 euros set after bookbuilding.
Deutsche Post presents its first Human Resources and Social Report
Deutsche Post presents the first Human Resources and Social Report in the company's history, entitled "The Individual, Creative Force of the Company." It focuses on the content and goals of the Group's human resources strategy as well as the tasks and accomplishments of its employees.
"Deutsche Post has evolved over the past 14 years from a domestic public authority to one of the largest high-performing logistics companies in the world. The Human Resources and Social Report is in part a look back on how the human resources work has been shaped. At the same time, it serves as a working basis for meeting current and future challenges against the backdrop of Group integration, for instance," said Deutsche Post Board Member for Personnel, Walter Scheurle.
One significant component of Human Resources' task is ongoing dialog with the social partners, the works councils and the trade union. In light of international integration, the principle of dialog will be further pursued in the future as well.
DHL in a new design: A new brand for the worldwide express and logistics business
Deutsche Post bundles its entire express and logistics business under the DHL brand. On April 1, 2003, the Group begins re-branding some 20,000 parcel delivery vans throughout Germany in the new DHL design. Deutsche Post AG had increased its share in the global market leader in the courier and express business to 100 percent in December 2002.
The new, internationally renowned DHL brand underscores the Group's evolution into a global player. Synonymous with speed and modernity, the express and courier brand DHL is one of the best-known logistics brands around the globe.
The consolidation of the worldwide parcel and logistics business under the DHL brand is the result of the consistent implementation of the Group's global "one-stop shopping" concept, offering the whole range of services from a single source.
Around the world, the courier and express business (formerly DHL), the parcels business (formerly Euro Express) and the logistics business (formerly Danzas) are brought together under the new brand.
Deutsche Post presents its first Environmental Report
Deutsche Post publishes its first Environmental Report under the title "Naturally networked." The Group presents a classic environmental performance report as well as product reports for several representative mail and parcel products based on the greenhouse gas emissions they cause. The Group uses the Environmental Report to provide additional facts for the ongoing discussion regarding the environmental impact of logistics and transport.
The environmental program revolves around further integration of international logistic networks, employee training and motivation as well as tapping the full potential of technical innovation. Protection of the environment and commitment to social and humanitarian issues form the cornerstones for sustainable corporate policy in the Group-wide guidelines adopted by the Board of Management. Environmental activities are coordinated by the corporate department for "Policy and Environment" created in 2001.
Deutsche Post acquires DHL
The partnership with DHL International, which began with the acquisition of a minority interest in 1998, is expanded and intensified in 2000. Negotiations were then concluded allowing Deutsche Post to establish a majority interest from January 1, 2002. In July 2002, Deutsche Post acquires a 25-percent share in DHL from Lufthansa Cargo and increases its majority stake to 75 percent.
At the time, DHL Worldwide Express had more than 71,000 employees worldwide. A pioneer in global express shipping, DHL's international network links over 220 countries and territories. DHL becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group in December 2002 after Deutsche Post AG acquires the remaining shares from two investment funds and Japan Airlines.
Launch of Group-wide program for integration and value creation
The Group takes a significant step on the way to becoming the world's number one service provider in the express and logistics market with the value-creation program STAR. Over the course of the next few years, STAR will turn value creation and integration into the guiding principle across all functions, organizational units, locations and employees.
Shareholders benefit as STAR more fully taps existing potential within the Group, customers benefit from the advantages created by optimized processes and employees benefit from the career opportunities available to them in a Group with standardized worldwide structures.
One June 27, 2001, Deutsche Post AG holds its first Annual General Meeting after the IPO in the Kölnarena with approximately 6,000 shareholders. The Chairman of the Board of Management, Klaus Zumwinkel, confirms to the shareholders the Group's goal of consistently expanding in the coming years to become the "number one global player" in logistics based on comprehensive logistics and financial services for our customers worldwide.
On November 20, 2000, Deutsche Post AG goes public. The largest IPO of the year in Germany and the third-largest worldwide proves a resounding success. An initial total of 29 percent of the share capital of Deutsche Post AG is sold. The immense demand, as evidenced by an eight-fold oversubscription to the shares offered in the IPO, clearly demonstrate that the Group's strategy has convinced investors and the capital market alike.
Employee participation in the subscription is strong. Some 145,000 domestic employees of the Group subscribe to more than 6 percent of the total volume, thus acquiring approximately 400 million euros in share capital.
For the time being, the IPO would crown the privatization process of the formerly government-owned company.
Acquisition of Danzas and AEI
The acquisition of the Swiss logistics provider Danzas and the largest American service provider in the field of international airfreight, Air Express International (AEI), attracts attention. Founded in 1815, the prestigious Danzas group is regarded as one of the world's leading logistics companies. With approximately 29,000 employees at the time of acquisition, Danzas has a strong logistics network on all continents.
The acquisition of AEI is similar. AEI has a network of branches in 135 countries. In addition to integrated logistics and multi-modal transport, it offers warehousing, distribution, customs processing and IT-based logistics services. AEI is integrated into the Intercontinental division of Danzas. As a full-service provider, the merged companies provide Deutsche Post with a dense transport network as well as an impressive portfolio of value-added services.
Acquisition of Postbank
In December 1998, the federal government of Germany sells its shares in Postbank to Deutsche Post AG. The acquisition of Postbank, which became effective January 1, 1999, forms the basis for a joint sales strategy.
"Letter 2000" concept becomes reality
The last of 83 mail centers throughout Germany is opened in Regensburg on December 4, 1998, giving Deutsche Post one of the most modern mail transport networks in the world. Customers benefit from the substantial improvements in mail transit times: 95 out of 100 letters in Germany reach their recipient in just one day ("day of posting + 1"), more than 99 percent reach their destination within two days.
The new mail centers replace approximately 1,000 mail processing offices where letters were sorted for the most part manually until the early 1990s. Over 85 percent of all letters are now processed by machine. The modern mail sorting systems can automatically scan and sort up to 36,000 letters per hour. Deutsche Post's largest mail centers are located in the urban centers of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.
Investment in DHL
Deutsche Post acquires an approximately 25 percent share in the express service provider DHL International Ltd., creating the basis for strategic cooperation between Europe's largest postal company and the worldwide market leader in international courier shipments.
Launch of Euro Express
Deutsche Post starts offering extensive parcel and express services across Europe through organic growth and investments in leading European companies. By the end of the year, Deutsche Post has set up a Europe-wide distribution network operating under the brand name Euro Express. The network becomes a success story, with Deutsche Post able to effectively leverage its strengths and benefit from the national expertise of its partners and subsidiaries in more than 20 European countries.
Deutsche Post gains a clear competitive advantage with Euro Express, as it is now able to meet customers' need for cross-border solutions from a single source. Just a few years after launching Euro Express operations, Deutsche Post reaches its goal of becoming the market leader in parcel and express services for business customers in Europe.
Acquisition of Global Mail (USA)
In the MAIL Division, the acquisition of Global Mail (USA), the largest private provider of international mail services in the United States, represents another milestone on the path to internationalization. The purchase of the flourishing company opens the door to the growing North American mail market and helps satisfy increasing customer demand for international mail services.
The age of globalization dawns at Deutsche Post
Following the successful domestic restructuring of the company, Deutsche Post AG begins setting the course for global expansion. Globalization of business activities comes in response to the growing number of customers seeking a single service provider for their national and international shipping needs.
The strategy is to establish Deutsche Post internationally with targeted acquisitions, investments and partnering agreements as well as to steadily expand the market position through integrated services. Deutsche Post starts down the road to becoming the world's number one logistics service provider.
New Postal Act passed
In Germany, a new Postal Act is passed in December which introduces greater competition and makes Germany the forerunner in the liberalization of the postal markets in Europe.
Massive investments in state-of-the-art logistics technology pave the way for faster delivery of letters and parcels throughout Germany. Thanks to reorganization and modernization of production at 33 parcel centers, Deutsche Post is able to significantly speed up the distribution process.
Another comprehensive, large-scale investment program was aimed at modernizing the infrastructure of the mail centers. When investment was completed in 1998, the network consisted of 83 high-tech production centers.
A high level of automation and standardization improves service quality and boosts productivity. Mail is one example. While less than 25 percent of letters were sorted by machine in the early 1990s, 90 percent of all items at mail centers are now processed fully automatically. Ninety-five percent of letters posted in Germany before final collection reach their recipient in just one day.
The second postal reform, primarily administrative in nature, goes into effect in early 1995 based on the Posts and Telecommunications Reorganization Act. The three companies that emerged from Deutsche Bundespost are converted into stock companies under private law. Although the federal government initially retained all shares, they were gradually offered for sale to private shareholders, with the federal government retaining the majority stake for at least five years.
The Federal Posts and Telecommunications Agency was founded at the same time. It represents the federal government's interests as a shareholder in the three stock corporations and performs supervisory and coordinating tasks. The federal regulatory tasks that were still necessary were initially assumed by a department in the Federal Posts and Telecommunications Agency (dissolved in 1997). The second postal reform was characterized by privatization and preparation for further liberalization of the postal markets.
Deutsche Post starts on a course of development that will take it from a loss-making, state-run government agency to a profitable global player and ultimately the world's number one logistics company.
The East German Deutsche Post is incorporated into Deutsche Bundespost.
Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst, DBP Postbank and DBP Telekom are established under the first postal reform
The Law concerning the Structure of Posts and Telecommunications of July 1, 1989, stipulates the restructuring of the former Deutsche Bundespost ("Postal reform I"). The new structure brings about the following organizational and regulatory changes:
- Separation of Deutsche Bundespost into three sectors - Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst, Deutsche Bundespost Postbank and Deutsche Bundespost Telekom
- Separation of the regulatory/political area from the managerial/operational area
- Establishment of management and supervisory boards for the public companies
- Creation of a Board of Directors to which the management board chairpersons of the three companies belong
- Establishment of a Council for Infrastructural Matters in the responsible federal ministry
- Conversion of the companies' customer relationships from public to private law
- Dissolution of the monopoly on telecommunication terminals
Christening of the Exel brand
The British National Freight Consortium (NFC) founds the Exel brand with the goal of establishing a global logistics company. NFC is the largest transport, relocation and contract logistics company in the United Kingdom. Exel's logistics division focuses on distribution and warehousing for manufacturers and retailers.
Exel became a part of Deutsche Post in 2005.
DHL enters into a joint venture with the People's Republic of China, making it the first express company to operate inside of China.
DHL adds parcel delivery to its list of services. Until this time, the company offered delivery of documents only.
DHL expands its network at high speed. Following expansion in the Far East and in the Pacific Rim (1971), DHL also begins offering services in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia (1972) and later in Europe (1974), Latin America (1977), the Middle East and Africa (1978).
Just a few months after Neil Armstrong took the first step on the moon, Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn in San Francisco take a step destined to alter the global economy: In 1969, they founded the company DHL - the three letters stand for the initials of their last names.
Their new business idea formed the cornerstone for a globally operating enterprise. At first, the company founders personally transported cargo documents from San Francisco to Honolulu by plane. This made it possible to begin customs processing of a ship's cargo before the actual arrival of the shipment, thereby significantly reducing waiting times in the harbor.
Customers saved a great deal of time as a result. The founding of DHL also represented the creation of a new sector of industry: international air express service - rapid transport of documents and cargo papers by plane.
DHL became a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Post in 2002.
Deutsche Reichspost is succeeded by Deutsche Bundespost. As a government agency, Deutsche Bundespost is responsible for national and international postal services and telecommunications. The postal section offers extra services such as the postal giro, savings bank, newspaper, pension payment, broadcasting and bus services.
Pursuant to the Reichspost Finance Act of March 18, 1924, Deutsche Reichspost comes under the administration of the Reich Ministry of Posts as an independent enterprise.
Effective administration structures are already an important consideration in 1876 - leading Chancellor Bismarck to unite the post and telegraph administration of the German Empire into one top-level administrative body, the "Reichs-Post und Telegraphenverwaltung," under the direction Heinrich von Stephan. Other reasons for the merger under state control include assertion of the state's sovereignty and control of news communications within the Empire as a fundamental component of national sovereignty as well as ensuring basic, nationwide communication services for the people.
Initiated by the General Director of Posts of the North German Confederation, Heinrich von Stephan, an international agreement on reciprocal transport of mail is signed by 22 nations on October 9,1874. It was the founding of the "General Postal Union", which would become the Universal Postal Union in 1878.
Declared a UN specialized agency in 1948, the Universal Postal Union is headquartered in Berne. It promotes international postal services and develops regulations for postal traffic. The Universal Postal Union also assists developing countries in setting up their own efficient postal services. Approximately 6 million postal employees in over 700,000 postal facilities around the world currently provide more than 6 billion people with some 440 billion postal shipments per year.
Marie Mathias Nicolas Louis Danzas, a lieutenant in Napoleon's Grande Armée, enters into the shipping and transport business after the battle of Waterloo. The company in the French Alsace region would soon bear his name and play an active role in the development of rail travel and steam navigation in the 19th century. In 1854, the first consolidated shipments were offered on the Zurich-Basel/St. Louis route.
Danzas assumes responsibility for international mail on behalf of the Swiss PTT in 1884. Delivery within 24 hours was guaranteed for the route between Switzerland and England.
Danzas became a part of Deutsche Post in 1999.
On April 21, 1646, Elector Friedrich Wilhelm issues postal regulations establishing regular postal service between Berlin, Münster, Osnabrück, Kleve and Königsberg. The new decree stems from the Elector's interest in staying well informed of the current status of the peace negotiations in Osnabrück and Münster to end the Thirty Years' War.
At the same time, the decree grants private individuals (in particular merchants) the right to have their mail transported by the electoral postal system. Friedrich Wilhelm thus ignores the emperor's postal monopoly granted to the Postmaster General of the House of Thurn and Taxis.
Franz von Taxis is considered the founder of the modern postal system. On behalf of the far-flung Habsburg family dynasty, he and his successors set up a courier network that would eventually grow to cover all of Western Europe by the mid-16th century.
Permanent post stations were built about one day's journey apart. Over time, these stations grew into important economic centers, serving as meeting points and places of trade and exchange where travelers could expect to find taverns, inns and stables. Post stations became crucial focal points in the development of villages and cities.