Federal Express Corp has launched FedEx Ship for Windows, a new shipping software which provides Asian companies easier access to FedEx shipping services and information via personal computers. The software, available in English, Chinese and Japanese-language versions, is expected to give customers a competitive and cost-effective advantage. Stewart Parbery, FedEx's managing director of customer technology in the Asia Pacific region, said: 'With FedEx Ship 3.1, Asian companies, large and small, can go global without high costs or increased manpower.' He said Asian companies could make better use of time, and avoid manual processing and monitoring shipment requests by phone. FedEx Ship electronically serviced shipping needs, giving customers greater control and easier access. Special features of the software include: The ability to create shipping labels and commercial invoices directly on the customer's laser printer, thus reducing paperwork; A 'log' for managing shipment records and activity by organising processed and unprocessed shipments and scheduling future shipments. It can also be used for creating import/export databases with other Microsoft compatible applications; A 'track' that provides real-time location, delivery status, and other shipment details once only available by phoning FedEx customer service. It can also produce monthly activity reports; An 'address book' that stores and organises customers' contact information in easily accessible files; An 'e-forms' function which automatically notifies recipients of shipment details via e-mail; and A 'settings' function that allows companies to customise FedEx Ship with passwords and modem configurations, format shipping preferences, and tailor other specifications to simplify business transactions. Available on CD-Rom and disk, the software was another business solution that used technology to simplify daily operations, FedEx's vice-president of China and the mid-Pacific region, John Quinn, said. In a separate development, FedEx Asia Pacific division president Michael Ducker said he did not envisage a rates war erupting in the short term. As some carriers were reducing their capacity between North America and Asia, rates on this route were unlikely to be affected, he said. Rate cutting could occur in traditional air-cargo business, but not on the express side. Mr Ducker said FedEx had opened three customer centres in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou several months ago, and the company was working with customs in each area for customs clearance. FedEx was also working on electronic data interchange links with various customs and airport authorities, and expected to have some arrangements in Shenzhen, Mr Ducker said. FedEx would also use MD-11s for its new service out of Shenzhen's Huangtian airport in October. 'We will fly four flights weekly from Subic to Shenzhen, and then on to Shanghai and out of China to the US,' Mr Ducker said.