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Airborne Express
About Us


Who Is Airborne Express?
For the past 13 years, Airborne has remained the third largest and fastest-growing air express delivery carrier in America. Our mission is to provide businesses customized distribution solutions at a lower cost than the competition.

Airborne's distribution solutions include overnight, next-afternoon and second-day delivery options; same-day courier service; warehouse and inventory management; plus a range of international services, including air freight, ocean transport, and customs clearance.

Airborne is the only U.S. carrier that owns and operates a privately-owned airport, the largest in the United States, a facility that includes an aircraft maintenance operation and Foreign Trade Zone. Through strict control of our operations and exceptional customer service, Airborne delivers reliable distribution solutions to business shippers worldwide.
The History of Airborne Express
We've achieved many firsts in a half century. They're all in response to our one enduring first -- our customers.

1946: Airborne Flower Traffic Association of California founded to fly fresh flowers from Hawaii to the mainland.

1968: Airborne of California and Pacific Air Freight of Seattle merge to form Airborne Freight Corporation with headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

1979-81: Airborne Express is born. Airborne purchases Midwest Air Charter, then purchases Clinton County Air Force Base in Wilmington, Ohio, becoming the only carrier to own and operate an airport. The package sort center opens, creating the "hub" for the hub-and-spoke system.

1984-86: Airborne is first carrier to establish a privately operated Foreign Trade Zone in an air industrial park.

1987: Airborne opens the Airborne Stock Exchange, a third-party inventory management and distribution service. New service provided to and from more than 8,000 Canadian locations.

1988: Airborne is first air express carrier to provide same-day delivery through the purchase of sky Courier.

1990: Airborne named as the carrier with the most outstanding integrated cargo system over the previous two years at the International Cargo Forum and Exposition.

1991: Airborne is first transportation company to receive Volvo-Flyg Motors' Excellent Performance Award. Ranked "most effective user of information systems in the U.S. transportation industry" by Computerworld. Receives "Spread the Word!" electronic data interchange (EDI) award for the largest number of EDI users worldwide in the air express and freight forwarding industry.

1992: Airborne introduces the first pre-purchased Express Letters and Packs with Flight-ReadySM.

1993: Airborne introduces Airborne Logistics Services (ALS), a new subsidiary providing outsourced warehousing and distribution services. IBM consolidates its international shipping operation with Airborne.

1994: Airborne is first express carrier to introduce ocean shipping services with opening of Ocean Service Division. Airborne Logistics Services (ALS) establishes the first new film distribution program for the movie industry in 50 years. Airborne is the first to provide on-line communication to Vietnam.

1995: Airborne Alliance Group, a consortium of transportation, logistics, third-party customer service operations, and high-tech companies providing value-added services, is formed. Airborne opens a second runway at its hub, the United States' largest privately owned airport. Expanded fleet with acquisition of Boeing 767-200 aircraft.

1996: Airborne Express celebrates 50 years of providing distribution solutions to business.

1997: Airborne Express has its best year ever, with net earnings increasing three-and-a-half-fold over the previous year. Airborne's stock tripled, leading to a two-for-one stock split in February, 1998.

1998: Airborne posts record profits and enters the Fortune 500. The first of up to 28 Boeing 767s is brought on line. And the Business Consumer Guide rates Airborne as the best air express carrier for the 4th consecutive year.
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