WITH TNT, DHL and FedEx all household names and the biggest fish in the express service industry, smaller-scale couriers have to work hard to make a ripple. While keeping up with the big boys is clearly a must, Hong Kong's courier service providers are discovering a range of other ways of staying in business. Although giving clients a good price and top-quality service is vital, capitalising on opportunities offered by new regions is another way forward. 'We have [established] two new campaigns in the past half-year, first to South Africa and second to Taiwan and South Korea,' said Eric To Hin-wing, the marketing administrator at Overseas Courier Service (OCS). 'We continually have new campaigns to get new markets and attract more customers, even though we are Japan specialists,' said Mr To. The mainland is, and has been, a vital area of business for the company, with its operations first set up in 1982. Indeed, in his opinion, business has been affected by the Chinese economic miracle and the parallel development of its infrastructure. 'Most of Hong Kong's factories have moved to the mainland, while most trading companies remain in Hong Kong,' he said. As a result, while some companies choose to send materials directly from the mainland to overseas destinations, many still feel more comfortable directing these to their Hong Kong offices before sending them further afield - thanks to Hong Kong's highly developed and efficient airline network. However, according to Mr To, should the mainland airline industry continue to expand, the courier service industry will find much being sent directly from the mainland to other destinations, leaving Hong Kong out of the equation. In preparation, OCS already operates 14 offices across the mainland, from Shenzhen to Shanghai.