UPS enhances customs clearance

UPS enhances customs clearance

UPS Supply Chain Solutions today announced enhancements to its customs brokerage service including new technology tools for better status visibility of shipments; alert systems to monitor the progress of critical shipments before, during and after customs clearance, and greater imaging capabilities for easier retrieval of documentation.

"The advent of more stringent security regulations, increasing documentation requirements and advanced notification about goods before they arrive at international destinations means that customs clearance is much more complex and unpredictable," said Norm Schenk, who leads brokerage services for UPS Supply Chain Solutions, in a media release. "These enhancements are designed to keep goods moving quickly and efficiently across borders while keeping customers proactively informed about their international shipments in transit."

UPS Supply Chain Solutions said it files more than 4 million customs entries in the United States each year. It also has customs operations in 120 other countries.

Specific enhancements will include new options, via UPS Supply Chain Solutions' Flex(r) Global View technology, which will allow customers to obtain multiple levels of detail about shipments. A "profiling and alerting" feature informs customers when shipments reach defined key milestones during customs clearance. The "sensitive entry" watch list monitors specific shipments' progress, flagging those deemed critical by customers. And an individual "line item status" feature provides improved item-by-item visibility into consolidated customs entries.

The company is also adding imaging enhancements that provide for the electronic capture and archiving of trade documentation, which eliminates physical storage requirements, increases efficiency in retrieving stored records and makes information immediately available for a faster audit cycle.

In related news, UPS and UPS Supply Chain Solutions have combined to create a single customs brokerage entity and have adopted a single filer code under UPS Supply Chain Solutions. The single unit processes customs entries for goods being delivered via UPS's small package network, as well as international air, ocean, ground and rail shipments managed by UPS Supply Chain Solutions as a customs broker and third-party logistics provider.

The change streamlines the customs clearance process and eliminates the need for customers to have separate Powers of Attorney, databases and production information on file for both small package and freight shipments. UPS already is certified under two government-business initiatives designed to keep borders secure: The U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Canada's Partners in Protection (PIP).