Journal of Transportation Management


In its early days, the international air express industry was synonymous with on-board couriers, carrying bags of documents on commercial flights. The industry has changed dramatically. That initial focus on documents has widened into the transport of packages and freight, carried by fleets of fully owned or dedicated aircraft, trucks, trains and delivery vans. The bulk of the business is dominated by 24-hour guaranteed and next-day deliveries. “Every day, hundreds of thousands of employees serve the distribution needs of an increasing number of businesses worldwide from one region to another” (European Express Association, 2002). The express companies are also making use of state-of-the-art information technology systems to provide minute-by-minute control and track and trace information. All the resources in the industry are dedicated to providing customers maximum reliability and flexibility of service. In this article, detailed information on major regulatory barriers in the air express industry are presented. Furthermore, recommendations on how to minimize the impact of these barriers in order to build a better future (with reference to operational efficiency, cost effectiveness and wider coverage of services to the final customers) are also discussed.