The parcel service industry is made up of four main competitors. These competitors are UPS, FedEx, Airborne Express, and the U.S. Postal Service. Since 2000, American consumers have spent more than $50 billion to ship parcels, packages, and overnight letters. New parcel distribution patterns developed due to the way U.S. manufacturing companies are operating. The Internet has expanded the reach of direct marketing, particularly with retail transactions requiring home delivery. Globalization has also created the need for parcel carriers to expand worldwide. UPS and FedEx are the leading parcel carriers in the U.S. FedEx has significantly expanded their capability to compete with UPS's dominant ground delivery service. UPS has continued its strong marketing efforts in overnight and deferred air services. Both of these carriers have introduced information systems, which include user-friendly Internet interfaces. The carriers have also expanded logistical services and improved integration with customer supply chains.
State of the Environment
State of the General Environment
More and more people are using computers and the Internet. Dual income families have increased spending; therefore more people are ordering products over the internet at a high rate. The Internet offers customers a one stop source for global shipping. Due to this, there has been an increase in using information technology and the Internet for businesses. This has created an increase in trade and investment along with global shipping logistics and supply chain solutions. With the increase in globalization, companies have had to adapt to the diverse work force and the culture of the countries in which they are conducting business. The parcel service industry is controlled by strict regulations and federal law. For example, September 11 brought stricter laws and regulations in the parcel service industry. Operations must maintain federal approval to operate in the United States.
State of the Industry Environment
The parcel service industry is dominated by four carriers that make up 95 percent of the industries domestic revenue. Over the years, the industry has had an increase growth rate over time and an increased role in the economy. This is due to the way manufacturing companies are now operating. With the growth of the parcel service industry, companies were able to decrease their inventories. These companies were relying on just-in-time inventory controls; they now had mass customization and the increasing demand for logistical services. Manufactures also depended more on the customer, information technology, and the increase in the use of technology in all parts of the economy. Companies such as FedEx, UPS, Airborne Express, and USPS shipped parcels at a faster rate and were more reliable than other rail, motor, and water carriers. Trends and opportunities of the parcel service industry include globalization, e-commerce, and supply-chain management. Internet logistics was FedEx and UPS's fastest growing business. The internet enabled customers to link directly to retailers and their manufacturers. In 2001, parcel carriers served almost all of the online market. They were able to provide information on packages to customers through tracking systems on the web. This allowed customers to plan ahead and decrease delays in deliveries. It also allowed for faster transactions and lower communication costs. Parcel companies created partnerships with large Internet retailers. These partnerships allowed parcel service companies to expand its overall delivery volume. Parcel companies improved tracking by implementing several technological innovations. These included "laser scanners and bar codes, state of the art software programs, satellite and cell phone communication equipment, electronic information interchanges, and the Internet." Globalization is another major trend. Since the emergence...