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Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 12:43

Air superiority: China's express war takes off

By Xinhua

Air superiority: China's express war takes off
Delivery riders sort through boxes of goods at a roadside distribution point in Beijing on Nov 16, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER)
BEIJING - Global logistics companies are battling in China's skies, alongside the booming air express industries.

And as the demand for speedier delivery grows, it is driving development across China to its smaller and more far-flung towns and cities.

READY TO TAKE OFF

China's civil aviation authority has approved the plans of an industry leader to build an airport in Ezhou city, central China's Hubei province.

SF Express, established 23 years ago by Shun Feng Airlines, is planning the airport as the world's fourth international air logistics hub and the first in Asia.

The firm, which had set up a strong air cargo transport network by 2009, has 30 aircraft, including China's first wide-body Boeing 767 imported last year.

And it has set to expand its fleet as it aims to become a global logistics enterprise.

Both SF Express and Yuan Tong, the second Chinese private express firm to acquire an aircraft fleet are also facing competition from global giants such as the US-based FedEx.

According to the China Express Association, business volume last year hit 20.6 billion deliveries and total revenue was 276 billion yuan - year-on-year growth of 48 percent and 35 percent respectively.

Air freight has increased rapidly and now accounts for more than half the total volume - and sometimes up to 70 percent of the total.

"The pursuit of speed is the mission of the express industry. So its development is tied to the development of air transport," says Zhang Yuzhou, director of industry development at the association.

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