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UPS expands Preferred LCL service to Western Europe

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
February 28, 2013

UPS said this week that it has expanded its Preferred Less-Than-Container Load (PLCL) expedited ocean service to Western Europe.

This service, said UPS, provides shippers with time-in-transit improvements that leverage its existing North American freight network. UPS provides LCL services in the ocean freight market for LCL services, with service from 26 Asian ports and four new ones in Western Europe, with additional port access in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.

And UPS said that its PLCL service offers shippers up to 40 percent faster port-to-door delivery times to the United States compared to its standard LCL service, with the same access to its visibility technologies used for package shipments.

UPS initially launched the UPS PLCL Ocean Freight service fall of 2010 from Japan. In roughly two years, customer demand for this product has led to the expansion of PLCL customers importing into the United States from 26 Asian ports and now the four aforementioned Western European ports.

“The expansion of our PLCL service to Europe comes at a time when many European companies are increasing exports due to decreasing demand at home,” said Eric Souza, director of UPS ocean freight forwarding marketing, in an interview. “We also find that companies are seeking ways to reduce overall transportation costs without sacrificing speed to the degree of standard ocean movement.”

Souza explained that UPS’s PLCL Ocean Freight service can potentially cut a typical 3-to-4 week UPS standard LCL ocean transit time by 20-40 percent, with Preferred LCL ocean shipments moved through the UPS North American ground network utilized for air freight shipments. What’s more, he said this service offers shippers a level of shipment visibility that’s not typically available for ocean shipments.

And using the expedited line-haul and delivery networks that support UPS Air Freight result in a compelling service option for importers from Asia and now Western Europe, with some of the benefits cited by Souza including:
-up to 40 percent faster transit times than standard UPS LCL (Transit times vary based on origin, destination and commodity and are not guaranteed);
-fixed day weekly sailings;
-published day-definite door delivery commitments;
-simplified pricing structure; and
-enhanced data capture for visibility from port of discharge through to door delivery

“Companies positioned to benefit from this expedited ocean freight service include U.S. importers and European customers in the industrial, automotive, retail and healthcare industries,” said Souza.

Souza declined to disclose a specific number of customers currently using the PLCL services, but he said UPS is already handling a PLCL shipment from Europe for a global automotive parts manufacturer and that UPS expects many more customers based on the value this service provides and the strength of its networks.

“UPS continues to be among the leaders in the ocean freight industry in the Preferred LCL services between Asia and the United States,” he said. “We plan to continue to evaluate our customers’ needs and the lanes we serve on a monthly basis and plan to add more PLCL lanes throughout 2013 to address the evolving needs of the constantly changing global marketplace.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Article Topics

News · Global Logistics · UPS · LCL · All topics

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