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Wed, Mar 27, 2002 - Page 18 News List

FedEx opens new transshipment center

INVESTMENT The world's largest express cargo company has expanded its Taiwan transshipment center, tripling the capacity of its Chiang Kai-Shek International facility

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Eyeing Asia's economic turnaround and angling for future growth, FedEx (聯邦快遞) -- the world's largest express cargo company, yesterday opened an expanded facility in Terminal Two, the Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport's new terminal.

`Complimenting' Subic Bay

Complementing its Intra-Asia hub at Subic Bay in the Philippines, the newly-expanded transshipment center in Taiwan will be able to handle 6,000 packages per hour, three times more than in the past, according to FedEx.

Expressing his thanks to the multinational's investment and confidence in Taiwan's economy, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday vowed to build the country into a global logistics center.

"We hope to speed up the development of air cargo districts in Taoyuan, mapping out at least ten hectares of land to be used for express services operations within the next three years," Chen said in his address at the center's opening ceremony yesterday, adding that the land involved would eventually expand to encompass 36 hectares.

Chen also said that FedEx's expansion of the CKS transshipment center will more-closely connect Taiwan to other countries, saving logistics costs and speeding time-to-market rates to increase Taiwan's competitiveness. It will also help attract foreign investors and retain more high value-added industries, he added.

Hoping for direct links

Though Taiwan's geographic importance has greatly benefited its role in the region's economic development, a lack of direct transport links to China poses difficulties for express operators seeking expanded growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We surely look forward to the opening-up of direct links. Should direct cross-strait links become a reality, air express costs and time-to-market rates will greatly benefit customers," said Eddy Chan (陳嘉良), vice president of FedEx's China & Mid-Pacific Region.

In lieu of direct cross-strait links, Chan said that the company's Intra-Asia hub at the Philippines' Subic Bay facility is well positioned to assume the role of cross-strait transshipment center.

Following the WTO assession of Taiwan and China, David Cunningham, president of the company's Asia Pacific Division, yesterday further expressed his optimism for the region's business activity as well as the increasing commercial interaction across the strait.

"Cross-strait [direct] trade is an opportunity for Taiwan's economy," Cunningham told reporters after the ceremony, adding that Taiwan would serve as a gateway between China and other markets.

He noted that air express services will increase as Taiwan's industrial structure moves from labor-intensive manufacturing to high-tech and high value-added production.

With the Asia-Pacific market growing substantially, FedEx has also increased its investment in Subic Bay and plans to invest in China, Cunningham said, refusing to reveal its planned amount of investment.

A history of ties

FedEx established operations in Taiwan in 1990, operating only two flights per week. The company set up its first CKS transshipment center in 1997 and currently operates 78 flights per week into and out of Taipei and Kaohsiung.

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