The courier industry has come a long way since the days of delivering by horseback and is now led by expert carriers and numerous resellers with comprehensive networks spanning all over the globe. The evolution of transport has meant that parcels can now be sent across the globe in as little as just one day. Developments in technology and the internet has opened up international parcel delivery to every one and has allowed for vast improvements to the services offered by the biggest players in the industry. Below is a brief timeline of how the modern courier industry has developed over the last century:

1907
The first of the big four carriers was born when Jim Cassey borrowed $100 from a friend and started a messenger service in Seattle which would eventually become UPS.
1913 -1918
Jim Cassey’s company focuses on delivering packages for retailers after acquiring a car. Jim Cassey soon merged with his competitor and in 1916 the company was joined by Charlie Soderstrom who introduced the brown colours and even more vehicles.
1919 -1930
Jim Cassey and his partners establish the name United Parcel Service and expand their operation to include most cities throughout the Pacific Coast. UPS were soon offering daily pick-ups, streamlined documentation and were the first to debut conveyor belt technology for handling packages. By 1930 UPS had expanded to the East Coast of the USA
1946
In 1946, K.W Transport was established with a single truck by Ken Thomas in Australia, changing its name to TNT 12 years later.
1953
UPS offers air services between the West and East coasts of the USA
1969
DHL was established in 1969 becoming the first international express service getting documents to customs offices ahead of freight enabling goods to pass through without delays.
1971
DHL opens territories in the Far East
1973
FedEx begins operations delivering 186 packages in its first night
1977
UPS offers an air service to every sing state in the USA
1972
DHL International is established with offices opening in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia
1974
DHL is now operational in the UK, is shipping to NEW Zealand, Fiji, Thailand and Malaysia and is handling over 500,000 Shipments
1978
TNT opens in the UK.
1980
TNT becomes Britain’s first ever door-to-door next day delivery service.
1982
TNT begins Sameday services in Britain.
1983
DHL opens up express services in Europe for the first time.
1985
Fast Lane Couriers is established, eventually becoming an online courier reseller.
1988
UPS operates its own aircraft and officially becomes an airline.
1989
UPS is now delivering to more than 175 countries.
1992
UPS introduces electronic tracking for ground parcels
1994
UPS Launches their website
1996
UPS launches online tracking software providing a real time image of the recipient’s signature.
1997
TNT launches Electronic Proof of Delivery, enabling them to collect parcels within 30 minutes of a customers request.
2000
FedEx becomes a global brand.
The world’s first SMS service fr tracking parcels is launched by DHL.
2002
TNT launches an advanced track and trace system enabling customer’s to track parcels through the web and from mobiles by WAP or SMS as well as email.
Present Day

The introduction of courier resellers in to the market place has made courier services much more affordable to both small businesses and individuals. Resellers have made it possible for customers to quickly get a quote, have complicated paperwork automatically generated for them and has reduced the costs of shipping to such an extent that in many cases courier services are much cheaper and faster than postal services. Delivery networks are now more extensive than ever with services delivering to the most remote corners of the world and technology is developing at a rapid rate.

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