International express distribution is set to become one of the growth industries of the next millennium, outstripping the rate of growth of global GDP, according to the International Air Express Distribution report published by Cranfield School of Management.
The study, by Melvyn Peters and Dr Derek Wright, looks at data from a variety of industry sources including shippers, analysts, aircraft manufacturers, air express operators and airlines to produce a definitive guide on the state of international air express.
The Cranfield report backs up current estimates that suggest the international express share of the total air freight and cargo market will rise from 5 per cent in 1995 to 37 per cent in 2015. If true, this would represent annual growth of 18 per cent. The European express market in particular is set to boom, increasing by one third to 48 million consignments, according to one market research consultancy.
The authors say this phenomenal growth in international express distribution is driven by increased global trade, lower trade barriers and a general push by national governments to stimulate exports, combined with higher customer demands.
Co-author Dr Derek Wright says: "Intelligent leading edge companies understand the true impact of time. The 24-hour and 48-hour world opens markets and opportunities not previously profitable. The networks of the express service providers allow simple global access without any infrastructure investment by shippers." Corporations now compete as much on time as on specification, as supply chains are redesigned, reorganised and reassessed to take account of the global economy. "Global players want to project and provide the same levels of service to global customers across their world territories and air express is a key enabling mechanism," he says.
Not only is international express distribution attracting more customers, market growth is driving operators to offer customers a wider range of services.