Discussion Papers

Frank Pieper

Postdienste im Wettbewerb - Ökonomische Charakteristika und Struktur der Märkte
Nr. 99 / November 1992
(no longer available)


There have been substantial changes in postal marktes over the last two decades. Private companies have entered the market, providing fast, reliable and secure transport services for goods and written communication. Official statistics do not provide a detailed picture of this sector because parcel aud courier services are not separated from the freigth category. This study offers a short examination of the dynamic growth of certain postal markets. One reason for the increasing volume of this markets are structural changes within the industry. Second, we introduce a model for segmentation of transport marktes and identify criteria to define relevant markets. We restrict our study to postal markets which face direct competition, excluding the freight segment and the letters. We concentrate in our discussion paper on the parcel market and the courier business on different geographic levels.

The analysis of the structure of the parcel market in the Federal Republik of Germany shows that private companies operate very successfully. The market share of these providers increased steadily, whereas traditional providers like DBP Postdienst or Deutsche Bundesbahn did not participate in the increased volume of the market. The most important reason for this development is obvious: private parcel companies did provide a better quality at the same price. The criterion to differentiate between the parcel and the courier market is quality of service. Providers in the courier market process shipments individually, whereas in the parcel business, the production process is organized following the priciples of mass production. Within the courier segment, this study considers the fact that the market structure is different subject to the geographic field of activity: on a regional level thousands of small companies provide courier services whereas on an international level only a few big companies offer worldwide transport services.

Only German language version available.

Discussion Paper is no longer available.

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