EXPRESS delivery firms will have to set up separate freight services if they are to achieve a competitive edge, says a TNT Express Worldwide executive. Jean-Claude Noel, senior vice-president international, said this would be possible if the authorities lowered restrictions in Asia. He said express firms wanted to be freed of specific passenger airline-orientated flight time restrictions so that they could offer - and guarantee - later collections for earlier delivery. Mr Noel urged Asian authorities to consider harmonising customs procedures, lower excise duty restrictions and cut barriers to foreign investment. Such improvements would enable the express distribution industry to serve the growing markets of Asia better, he said. 'Asia is the market with the highest growth potential and, therefore, has the greatest opportunities for developing the distribution market structure,' he said. Demands on express distribution required more sophisticated and technologically advanced logistics services with competition for business in Asia rising, he said.