United Parcel Service, focusing on foreign partnerships after a 16-company overseas buying binge, is entering a strategic alliance with Fliway Express Ltd. for international express service to and from New Zealand.
The move is part of UPS' long-term plan to increase delivery options in the Asia-Pacific region by creating equity alliances with partners.UPS/Fliway New Zealand Inc. is owned 50-50 by UPS and Fliway parent Fliway Transport Group. It combines UPS technology and Fliway's distribution network and staff.
''This heightened relationship is another step in completing our Asia-Pacific distribution network,'' said Charles Adams, UPS' regional vice president for the Asia-Pacific. John Flick, a UPS spokesman, said the company is planning similar ventures in Indonesia and India.
He said New Zealand fits into UPS' strategy in the region, noting that UPS will begin its own service to Australia this year. The Australian service, he said, will help with connections to New Zealand. Australia is New Zealand's major trading partner.
''Fliway is a very good company, one of the largest forwarders in New Zealand,'' said Julian Keeling of Consolidators International Inc., a Federal Express Corp. customer with offices in Los Angeles and New Zealand. ''It started out as a specialist in customs clearance of mainframe computers. From that it expanded into deliveries.''
But he said FedEx seems more serious than UPS in New Zealand as it has a 100 percent company-owned operation there.
''UPS feels they need a New Zealand company to market and operate the service. UPS is hedging its bets,'' Mr. Keeling said.
FedEx serves New Zealand from Auckland International Airport with international priority and freight. That service is linked to Asia One, FedEx's intra-Asia network of 13 cities, said Jess Bunn, a spokesman.
''New Zealand is important because of buoyancy in market rates,'' Mr. Keeling said. ''Per kilo, it's very profitable.''