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UPS Launches Tools To Manage Global Trade

TradeAbility aids international shippers as they navigate complex import rules.

United Parcel Service Inc. has introduced two Web-based global trade tools to automate the U.S. Customs clearance process for package shipments. The software is part of the company's effort to help customers manage the increased complexity and risk associated with post-9/11 international trade.

UPS' TradeAbility tool allows international shippers to identify specific country tariff codes, as well as calculate duties for customs clearance. The system also generates cost estimates for duties, taxes, and transportation. Shippers also can get compliance information for 34 countries.

TradeAbility's Landed Cost feature provides international shipping cost estimates, including duties, fees, taxes, and transportation costs. The Harmonizer feature, which identifies tariff codes, replaces a process that's often done manually by searching through volumes of product codes.

TradeAbility is the first UPS offering to be available as a Web-service application and can be integrated with a customer's business applications or Web site, UPS says.

UPS also enhanced Quantum View Manage, its popular package-visibility service that allows importers to see when a package has been processed, is in transit, or when it arrives, and automatically sends an alert if a shipment is delayed. The tool now helps U.S. importers clear shipments coming into the country, audit cleared shipments for correct classification, and electronically archive shipment data.

Quantum View Manage also now allows shippers to use E-mail to amend import documents submitted to U.S. Customs. Users also have online access to all associated clearance documents, including images of invoices. Brokerage data is archived online for 45 days and images are stored online for up to 12 months. Customers can request a CD ROM of past shipments, which is essential for keeping import records as required by U.S. law.

Back in March 2003, UPS launched its Trade Direct Cross Border software and services, intended to streamline the movement of freight and packages from Mexico into the United States. It allows customers to access warehousing, fulfillment, and U.S.-based returns-processing services. And they can consolidate billing for all transportation, duties, taxes, and additional services, according to UPS.

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