Fri, Jun 04, 2004 - Page 4 News List

TRA introduces same-day parcel delivery service

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

Same-day parcel delivery was yesterday inaugurated as the Taiwan Railway Administration's (TRA) latest addition to an assortment of new services introduced ahead of the impending launch of high-speed bullet trains in October next year.

"Our goal is to bring in at least NT$100 million each year with express delivery services," TRA director general Hsu Ta-wen (徐達文) said yesterday as the first batch of boxes was loaded onto a train.

Denying that the recent line of new services was intended to prepare the administration for competition brought about by the faster bullet-train service, Hsu said that the express delivery service was aimed at obtaining three goals.

"First, we hope to increase our revenue. Second, we want to provide consumers with this service, and third, this is a good way to reduce road traffic," Hsu said.

TRA officials yesterday explained that while most parcel delivery services were only able to offer next-day delivery promises, the TRA would be able to offer same-day delivery.

"In the future, we will focus more on secondary services, such as vehicle transportation and freight delivery. In other countries, secondary services make up 40 percent of railway revenues," Hsu said.

In its initial phase, parcels will be transported in out-dated dining cars that have been taken apart to accommodate freight transportation. The TRA plans primarily to serve as a middleman, offering transport services to existing courier companies. However, in the future, the administration would also cater to individuals who wanted to deliver parcels directly through the TRA.

While no contracts have been signed, Taiwan Pelican Express Co (台灣宅配通) and Overseas Courier Service Co (OCS) have both expressed a desire to work with the TRA.

The TRA charges by distance, with deliveries of over 300km defined as long-distance service. Long-distance services costs NT$120 and short-distance services NT$90 for small parcels.

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