By Billy Chamberlin, The China Post
United Parcel Service’s increase in business and flight routes from its Taiwan branch is directly related to the gradual opening of the mainland China market, said Daniel Chen, UPS managing director of Taiwan. Planning to expand the number of flights between Taipei and Europe to five from the current three in the next few months, Chen explained the move will decrease the time-in-transit to Europe by half a day. “Increased trade between Taiwan and markets in Europe is also driving demand for express service and flights to and from the European continent,” said Chen. UPS has seen international export volume climb over 20 percent in the third quarter of 2000 compared with the same period of 1999. While the Asia Pacific region saw export volume raise 15 percent, Taiwan’s export volume was double the regional average at 30 percent and Chen predicts next year will be even stronger. Such a positive outlook stems from the recent awarding of the rights to six new weekly round trips between the U.S. and mainland China to UPS by the U.S. Transportation Department. The new routes are seen as necessary for future growth in the region as the mainland has the greatest growth potential of any international airline market. While UPS has been active in the PRC since 1988 through its partnership with Sinotrans, the addition of routes will help the company effectively access the country’s over one billion consumers. United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and Federal Express are the only other U.S. carriers with permission to fly to the mainland. Chen surmised that one factor for selecting UPS over competitors such as American Airlines and Delta Air Lines is the importance of the mainland in terms of trade and not tourism as the mainland’s is expected to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO) in coming months. “This is going to have a positive impact,” said Chen, “for the entire Greater China region.” Throughout the region, UPS has been expanding its presence in Asia Pacific steadily throughout the year. New flights were added to Seoul, Bangkok and Kansai, Japan during July which UPS said will mean companies in these cities will be better able to compete and succeed in the global marketplace.