FEDEX UNVEILS DETAILS OF INTRA-ASIAN NETWORK

FEDEX UNVEILS DETAILS OF INTRA-ASIAN NETWORK

Federal Express Corp. took the wraps off its new intra-Asia overnight delivery network Thursday.

Linking 11 major Asian business centers, the network, labeled AsiaOne, will become operational when FedEx opens its intra-Asia hub at Subic Bay in the Philippines on Sept. 4."Shippers will have the most extensive overnight delivery service available within Asia for shipments of every size and weight," said Joseph C. McCarty, senior vice president for the Asia-Pacific region.

Besides connecting more locations, the AsiaOne network will allow shippers later pickups and earlier delivery times. FedEx said. The cities served by the overnight network will be Seoul, South Korea; Tokyo and Osaka in Japan; Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Manila, Philippines; Singapore; Kuala Lumpur; and Penang, Malaysia.

The carrier will have some 150 flights a week within Asia.

"They're creating in Asia essentially what they created years ago in the U.S. The potential is just tremendous," said Mike Bogen, a consultant for Strategic Management Solutions in Minneapolis.

Cliff Deeds, a FedEx spokesman, responded that AsiaOne's total capacity will be much larger than the domestic service launched by FedEx when it began flying in 1974.

"It's a much more complex operating scenario than we originally faced," he added, citing the much greater distances within Asia and the complexities involved in crossing international boundaries.

The new intra-Asia network is linked to an expansion of the carrier's

trans-Pacific capacity. A new trans-Pacific flight will go nonstop from the carrier's West Coast regional hub in Oakland, Calif., to Kansai International Airport in Osaka.

The new flight, will increase its daily cargo capacity to some 880,000 pounds in each direction across the Pacific. FedEx already has four other

trans-Pacific flights a day, but each of them goes go through Anchorage.

With the expanded service, U.S. importers will receive next-day delivery to all of North America from Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Taipei and Hong Kong, FedEx said. The new Osaka-Oakland flight will provide next-day service to many West Coast cities from Penang, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Manila, giving a boost to Silicon Valley manufacturers relying on imported components from Southeast Asia.

Mr. McCarty said the inauguration of the AsiaOne network represents the culmination of a strategy envisioned in 1989 when FedEx acquired Flying Tigers and its route authorities throughout Asia.

"Ultimately, customers around the world will benefit," he said.

The Subic Bay hub also will benefit the Philippines.

"The Philippine government is delighted that FedEx has chosen Subic as its hub because it puts the Philippines at the center of trade and commerce in Asia," said Ambassador Raul Rabe in a telephone interview from Washington.

Kaohsiung, a port city in southern Taiwan, will enjoy direct FedEx service for the first time since it acquired Flying Tigers.

Kaohsiung will be served by an A310 freighter that also will fly to Seoul. FedEx launched service to Kuala Lumpur earlier this month.

The other cities had previously been served by FedEx, but all will enjoy later pickup times than before. Hong Kong, for example, will have a 7 p.m. deadline, while manufacturers in Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base, will be able to drop off packages late in the evening, much as companies in Memphis, FedEx's main U.S. hub, have a midnight deadline.

"There's not another location in Asia that can have as late a drop-off and get overnight service in Asia," Mr. Deeds said. "Our facility is going to provide a lot of inherent advantages to companies there.