UPS and FedEx continue to dominate the express delivery market

Press release   •   Apr 23, 2013 10:57 BST

The global express delivery market generates annual revenue of approximately $180 billion. North America, and the US in particular, is the largest market for express delivery services, but Asia, Europe, and Latin America are being targeted for industry growth.

In most postal systems express mail refers to an accelerated delivery service for which the customer pays a surcharge and receives faster delivery. Express mail is a service for domestic and international mail and is in most countries governed by a country's own postal administration. Since 1998 the international accelerated delivery services are governed by the EMS Cooperative.

The express industry originated in the US in the late 1960s and flourished following the deregulation of air cargo in the US in the late 1970s. Express delivery companies met the increasing need of companies for time-definite, guaranteed delivery that could not be met by either postal services or freight forwarders. As a result, the industry has grown quickly and in the 1980s moved beyond the US domestic market to become a global business.

Both documents like letters, trade documents, applications, cheque books as well as non-documents like equipment parts, electronic products, spare parts, trade samples are shipped through express services.

The most important sectors for the express industry include high-tech and other leading 'growth' sectors such as IT, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, electronics and financial & business services. But services are also used extensively by firms in other sectors, including automotives and engineering and retail.

The global industry is dominated by the top four players, but there are many other players that make the industry highly competitive.

Major companies include US-based United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx), as well as DHL (Germany) and TNT (the Netherlands), who account for more than half of the market share.

The profitability of individual companies depends on price, reliability, quality, and services. Large companies compete by offering a wide range of services, while small companies compete through specialised customer service.

The industry is expected to deliver positive results in the coming years due to growing importance of E-commerce and the resulting growth in business-to-consumer (B2C) market.

For more information on the express delivery industry, see the latest research: Express Delivery Industry

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