Express and delivery markets across the 10 new EU countries are poised for double-digit growth rates over the coming five years, spearheaded by Central and Eastern Europe, according to a new report by independent market analyst, Datamonitor.

The report "Eastern European Express and Parcels Delivery Market Report 2005," estimates the express delivery market in this region will be a EURO2.7-billion business by 2010. However, the report stresses early entry into these countries is paramount. Already, the 4 integrators have a presence in the region and other large pan-European players, namely GLS and GeoPost, are making moves.

The increasing elimination of export duties and trade barriers is creating a Europe made of, and thought, of as economic regions as opposed to individual countries. Western European companies are pouring large sums into the construction of manufacturing plants in Central and Eastern Europe.

For European express and parcels delivery providers there is an opportunity to benefit from growing parcel volumes in the region. The favourable costs and skilled readily-available workforce certainly make the new 10 EU states ripe for the picking.

"Borders between and among the EU 15 and the ten new members have been effectively eliminated", says Emilio Pedrinaci, express analyst at Datamonitor and author of the study. This combined with Central and Eastern Europe's large pool of skilled, well educated and less costly workforce and the fact that accession states labour costs will remain below those in traditional EU member states, offers an enticing opportunity for pan-European express and parcels delivery firms to establish low cost operations in the region."

Datamonitor's analysis of the central and eastern European region reveals that Poland, the biggest economy in Eastern Europe, represents the largest share of the Eastern European express and parcels market in value terms. It is also the most developed and consolidated parcels market in the region. The Czech Republic and Hungary are the second and third largest markets respectively.

According to the report, the major players in Poland's express and parcels market control nearly 80% of the market. With an estimated 31% share, the largest player is DHL Express Polska, formed by the consolidation of DHL and local Servisco businesses.

The second largest player in Poland is Stolica, although still quite a long way behind DHL. However, the company was acquired by UPS at the beginning of 2005 and the new company will compete with DHL in most market segments. The estimated market share of the new UPS/Stolica would be 18.6%.

Other leading parcel carriers in the country include TNT, Masterlink, which from 2004 is wholly own by French GeoPost, GLS Poland and local company Siodemka.

All major players are seemingly moving towards standard global product offerings with minor regional differences Datamonitor's "Eastern European Express and Parcels Delivery Market" report also provides comparison analysis of Western Europe's express and parcels delivery market, detailing overall market size, the main trends and Porter's 5 forces analysis.