Fri, May 09, 2008 - Page 12 News List

UPS may team up with local airlines

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

UPS International Inc could team up with local airlines to expedite delivery services once direct links are implemented after July, a Taipei-based company executive said yesterday.

“We have had experience working with local airlines such as China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) for inbound express delivery and will certainly facilitate any future request [for express services] by our clients [across the Strait],” Gary Wu (吳信翰), general manager of UPS International Inc’s Taiwan branch, told reporters.

Wu was upbeat about the opening of direct links, which he believed would boost Taiwan’s strategic importance as a logistics hub in the Asia-Pacific region.

The international shipping firm provides overnight freight services between Taipei and Pudong, Shanghai, and has seen a sharp growth in revenue from express services across the Strait after replacing its Boeing 757 freighter with a bigger 767 aircraft on Monday.

The company has three major regional hubs — Taipei; Cologne, Germany; and Louisville, Kentucky.

The company is expected to face competition from Taiwanese or Chinese airlines in offering fast and low-cost services when direct links are implemented.

But Wu was confident that the company would remain competitive with its offer of value-added services, including ensuring safe arrivals, return services and a complete supply chain across the Strait via Clark International Airport in the Philippines.

“We welcome competition, but have no plans of engaging in a pricing competition even if direct links are in place,” Wu said.

He said that the company’s Shanghai logistics hub, to be launched in the third quarter, would be able to process 170,000 packages per hour on a 24/7 basis.

UPS’ network in China reaches 330 cities, which account for approximately 85 percent of Chinese trade, he said.

The company posted double-digit growth in Asia-Pacific sales in the first three months of the year — its fifth quarterly double-digit growth, Wu said, adding that the parent company forecast continued growth of between 6 percent and 8 percent per annum before 2010.

UPS International saw a 6.7 percent year-on-year earnings growth to US$12.7 billion in the first quarter, or US$0.78 per share.

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