Pooja Khazanchi, express analyst with Datamonitor and author of the study, reports that express operators are now focusing on enhancing road services with improved features and standards. For example, TNT has started investing and developing its road networks in Europe to facilitate its express and parcel business in the region. It has invested more than $18.7 million in expanding and upgrading its facilities at the Duiven hub in Holland.
Datamonitor also reported that consolidation in the global express industry is being driven by larger players expanding their networks outside their domestic markets. Express operators are investing in emerging markets, a knock-on effect of which has been an increase in consolidation activity.
Consolidation is not limited to just the major express operators, as some of the national post operators such as Austrian Post, Finland Post and Swiss Post expanded their networks across Europe by acquiring smaller express companies.
Deregulation of the postal market by 2009 in Europe also will affect the competitive structure, services and prices in the market, according to the analyst firm. Deregulation will promote competition among players mainly in the mail reserved area, which was dominated by national operators until now, Datamonitor projects.
Finally, international express and business-to-consumer parcels delivery volumes will be the driving force of the express industry, Datamonitor writes. Global e-commerce activity has grown rapidly, mainly as a result of the increased penetration of broadband Internet. Although the business-to-business (B2B) segment dominates with majority values generated from the segment, B2C is set to experience faster growth with growing e-commerce. According to Datamonitor, B2C will become one of the key driving factors for growth in the European express and parcels delivery market.
Khazanchi concludes: "The international express and B2C parcels delivery volumes are the driving force of the express industry. Both of these are expected to remain the fastest growth sectors over the coming years. Overall Datamonitor expects the express services market in the EU 9 (Germany, France, UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden and Poland) to reach $55.1 billion by 2010."