FedEx Express, a subsidiary of cargo transportation giant FedEx, launched its new South Pacific hub in Singapore on Wednesday to serve its clients in the local and regional markets. The 282,700 square feet (26,264 square meters) facility in the Air Cargo Express Hub at Singapore\'s Changi Airport, built at a cost of 97 million Singapore dollars (78.9 million U.S. dollars), allows the company to consolidate air, ground and customs clearance operations under one roof. The new facility also serves as a trans-shipment point for Asia Pacific shipments in and out of Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. It reduces internal cargo handling time from two hours to 10 minutes. Sorting of packages is also fully automated, reducing manpower by 25 percent. David L. Cunningham, president for Asia Pacific at FedEx Express, said the new facility is designed to provide its customers in the region with greater and more reliable access to regional and global trade opportunities. \"With the new facility, we aim to provide greater connectivity to the important trading lanes of the U.S. and the EU for our customers,\" he said. The company said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN) as a whole represents EU\'s third largest trading partner with more than 206 billion euros of trade in goods and services in 2011. The EU is also ASEAN\'s second largest trading partner, accounting for around 11 percent of ASEAN trade.