Trade Seen Driving China to Become World's Sixth Largest Express Market by 2010

U.S. express and delivery market still largest, but Asia-Pacific region seeing fastest-growth rates, Datamonitor study shows

U.S. express and delivery market still largest, but Asia-Pacific region seeing fastest-growth rates, Datamonitor study shows

London — May 31, 2006 — The U.S. express and delivery market is still the largest in the world, but the market in the Asia-Pacific region is the fastest-growing globally, and China is set to become the sixth largest express market in the world by 2010, according to a new study by market analyst Datamonitor.

China is the fastest growing market in the Asia-Pacific express and parcels delivery sector, and it will overtake Canada to become the sixth largest market in the world within four years, provided it continues growing at an average 20 percent per year, Datamonitor reported in its new study "Express and Parcels Global Outlook 2006."

Datamonitor currently values the China's express delivery market at $3.5 billion, based on 2005 figures. The driving factor behind China's growth is its increasing export activity with Europe and the United States, the market analyst found.

"China is increasingly being seen as the manufacturing center of the world," said Emilio Pedrinaci, express analyst at Datamonitor and author of the study. Pedrinaci added that following China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the country is also experiencing rapid market liberalization and modernization as well as rising domestic consumption. "Consequently it has become a strategic market for global businesses," he said.

Datamonitor's "Express and Parcels Global Outlook 2006" presentation provides an overview of the global express and parcels delivery market, including the analyst firm's "Global Express Scorecard" and top three express markets globally, by region.

U.S. Market Still Dominates

According to the Datamonitor, the overall U.S. express and parcels delivery market is worth $65 billion. It is very mature, dominated primarily by UPS and FedEx, followed by DHL and the USPS. TNT Express, meanwhile, only has a small presence in the U.S. market.

Domestic express and parcel delivery products account for almost 90 percent of the total U.S. market. Both UPS and the United States Postal Service (USPS) dominate the ground segment as a result of a long-standing ground delivery service network. FedEx and DHL USA mainly concentrate on the air express segment, although the former has expanded its market share in the ground segment over the past few years.

European Express Market Consolidating

Europe's express and parcels delivery landscape meanwhile reflects the international dominance of the "four integrators" and the gradual expansion of the two largest postal operators in Europe (apart from Deutsche Post and TNT N.V.), La Poste and Royal Mail, primarily fuelled by acquisitions. As the European market consolidates, the combined market share of the "Big Six" will increase, and Datamonitor expects this is likely to continue as the major players expand operations in Eastern Europe, particularly in the new E.U. countries.

Germany represents the largest share of the European express and parcels market, followed by the United Kingdom, which has been growing at a faster pace than Germany and France and has consequently closed the gap with the largest European market. The Central and Eastern region accounts for a small share of express revenues in Europe but is the fastest growing market within it, poised to experience double-digit rate figures for the next five years.

The structures of the respective regional express and parcels markets vary widely, but most European countries share one commonality: the market leader is usually the incumbent national postal operator and its express subsidiary. In the majority of E.U. countries, the national postal operator is followed by an integrator (usually DHL) as the second biggest player in terms of market share.

Asia-Pacific Express Market Fastest-growing

With a value of $34 billion, Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growth express and parcels delivery region globally and, according to Datamonitor, has experienced growth rates of between 15-20 percent over the past few years. Japan is the largest and most developed express market in Asia-Pacific, which helps to explain why the key domestic Japanese parcel operators — Yamato Transport, Sagawa and Nittsu — appear as the top players in the region.

Globally, China is a strategic growth market for the express industry. Among the key reasons for this given by Datamonitor's Emilio Pedrinaci are "the role of China as key country in terms of global supply chains and the significant [gross domestic product (GDP)] growth maintained in the last four years, which have made China the second E.U. trading partner after the U.S. In addition, the country is experiencing a significant expansion of transportation infrastructure."

Canada is currently the sixth largest express market in the world. However Datamonitor expects China to be the holder of this rank by 2010.

Additional Articles of Interest

— Businesses today continue to look for ways to reduce their logistics costs, but in order to identify further costs savings, companies need to tap into new information. The answer? Benchmarking. Read more in "Freight Cost Benchmarking: The Final Procurement Level," in the February/March 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— Capturing the sourcing savings in a low-cost manufacturing strategy means weighing the risks and understanding total cost. Read more in "Supply Base Localization: A Different Look at Low-cost Country Sourcing," in the February/March 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.