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Express cargo services and urban system: differences and similarities between the United States of America and Brazil

Grant number: 15/06152-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2015
Effective date (End): January 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Geography - Human Geography
Principal Investigator:María Mónica Arroyo
Grantee:Igor Venceslau Freitas
Supervisor: Susan Mary Roberts
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Kentucky (UK), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:13/19277-2 - Correios, logistics and use of territory: the express mail service in Brazil, BP.MS


The express cargo service was first launched in the United States, by the FedEx company during the 1970s. It soon spread to other countries, including Brazil in the beginning of the 1980s. After some decades, the United States is still the country with the largest and most complex express cargo service system, connecting the urban system. Instead of disappearing, the mail flows has been improved by the Internet, notably since the e-commerce activities could be performed. Studies about postal companies are not common in the field of geography. Among these, the majority of the studies are focused only on a national reality. Other studies focuses on a global interpretation, sometimes giving little attention to the discussion about the role of national states in controlling these flows. What would be some differences and similarities on express cargo (mail and package) connecting cities comparing Brazil and other big country, such as the United States? The goal of this research is to analyze the role of the express cargo services in the territory, specially its implication to the urban system, in comparison between the United States of America and Brazil. Some key concepts of the study are: geographical space; territory; networks; globalization; time and logistics. The methodology consists in: bibliographical research; data collection on the Internet and documents; fieldwork in the logistics centers of the companies FedEx, UPS and DHL; making maps, graphs and tables; writing a final report. This study will provide elements to understand the role of the postal services in the Brazilian territory, once the elements of comparison will allow the identification of the peculiarities of the country. (AU)

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