DHL will acquire the ground operations of Airborne, Inc. for $1.05 billion under a definitive merger agreement signed by the two delivery companies. The U.S. ground operations of Airborne and DHL will operate under the DHL brand. The companies say the merger will create a stronger competitor to United Parcel Service and FedEx.DHL’s 8,139-vehicle fleet is the 27th largest commercial vehicle fleet in Automotive Fleet
’s Top 300 Commercial Fleets. Airborne ranks 36th with 6,275 vehicles in its fleet.The transaction, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed during the summer of 2003.