Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Document Type



The express delivery industry in China has seen rapid growth in recent years. The majority of the express delivery companies can still be classified as medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They are not just limited in terms of size, but also in terms of funds available for investment and in area of service coverage. Many such SMEs have chosen to collaborate so as to enhance their competitiveness. The current approach is to collaborate with another company located in a different city, and so effectively extend operations to inter-city delivery. However, this twosome type of collaboration has created problems in delivery efficiency and security. The main reason for such problems seems to be lack reliability in collaboration. The problem is compounded by a lack of affordable software tools to support such collaborations. A new approach to supporting collaboration among SME express delivery companies is proposed in this paper. The proposed approach involves an “m” to “n” collaboration relationship, with each city served by a multi participation network of companies. An agent-based system is also proposed to support and facilitate the multi-forwarders activities, and at the same time efficiently manage the collaborative relationships amongst participants. The proposed approach is demonstrated using a small case example.