Logistics technology: New UPS offerings focus on import control for shippers

UPS has rolled out enhancements for various proprietary technology offerings that it said simplify the use of multiple transportation modes and give importers more control over shipments.

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UPS has rolled out enhancements for various proprietary technology offerings that it said simplify the use of multiple transportation modes and give importers more control over shipments.

Among the new enhancements is UPS Import Control, a new functionality available next month that allows importers to process an import shipment though UPS-based CampusShip or Internet Shipping via ups.com. UPS said this will enable importers to use either application to have control over inbound logistics costs in the hands of the importer rather than the exporter, as well as generate shipping labels and commercial invoices for a small package.

UPS officials added that CampusShip—like WorldShip and Internet Shipping—will also be able to process air freight shipments and less-than-truckload shipments. UPS also announced that its Web-based Quantum View Manage tool now provides shippers with enhanced visibility for air, ocean, and LTL shipments, and its UPS Paperless Invoice is available via self-enrollment from UPS.com

UPS New Product Development Manager John Slayton said in an interview that this news is the result of customer feedback to a large degree.

“We had customers telling us that importing could be difficult, and they…wanted the ability to be more involved in the process of having a shipment prepared or a say in the service level that was used, and the date a shipment was going to be shipped by their exporter,” he said. “They wanted more involvement and control.”

While UPS has many customers using its services for small packages as well as freight, Slayton said some customers using its systems like CampusShip, which has been in place for small package shipments and for customers that wanted to do air freight shipments and utilize CampusShip in an office environment, were looking for a way to integrate that.

How it works: When asked how UPS Import Control works, Slayton gave an example of a U.S.-based shipper doing business in China. If the shipper placed an order with the Chinese manufacturer and had deemed UPS was the company he wanted to use, he would then select the most appropriate distribution option to meet his company’s needs, using four days as an example.

“I would also want to make sure as I negotiate the purchase that my supplier has told me my order would fit in two boxes,” said Slayton. “Now I can go use UPS Internet Shipping or CampusShip and physically process the order, like if I was doing an outbound order. Now, I would process an import, and I would enter in my supplier [and shipping specifications] and I would process that. I would also ensure that the Customs invoice for international shipments is properly filled out, with a full description, country or origin, and go ahead and complete that invoice documentation.”

When that process is finalized in an instruction sheet and the labels and commercial invoice are all sent electronically via e-mail in an instruction sheet, the order is filled, a label is placed on the package, followed by the shipper contacting UPS for pickup or arranging for a pickup, with the package tendered to UPS.

About the Author

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. Contact Jeff Berman

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