UPS Paperless Invoice service goes international
UPS announced it was extending to air freight customers the same capability now enjoyed by small package shippers to electronically clear customs in more than 90 countries.
“Our expanded services enable more of our customers to streamline and expedite the customs process while cutting costs and saving time,” the company said in a statement.
The extension of the UPS Paperless Invoice service to international air freight shipments saves time, money and trees. The free-of-charge solution enables customers to increase efficiency by integrating order processing, shipment preparation and commercial invoice data. It then transmits that data in advance of the shipment to customs offices across the globe, eliminating the problems that accompany paper documentation.
Because information is stored electronically, customers greatly reduce their chance of making manual errors filling out customs documentation. The tech-enabled service also eliminates the possibility of submitting incomplete paperwork, the main cause of delay for international deliveries.
The new capability to electronically process air freight shipments currently is available through UPS Internet Shipping and UPS CampusShip software. It will be available through UPS WorldShip in January.
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In a second international technology enhancement, UPS added 25 new origin countries to its UPS WorldShip shipping software. The availability of this technology option means customers can generate labels and prepare packages for shipping without resorting to pen and paper.
Greatly reducing the chance for manual errors, UPS WorldShip software now can be used for small package and air freight shipments in 63 countries. The newest origins for this service include Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Greece, Guam, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates.
WorldShip can be installed in any of 20 languages.
UPS was the first carrier in the industry to offer electronic customs clearance for small package shippers, rolling out the service in January 2008. Since then, working closely with customs officers around the world, UPS has increased to more than 90 the number of destination countries that will accept electronic customs data and to more than 70 the number of origin countries in which international export packages can be processed electronically.
No other carrier offers a digital customs clearance option in so many countries for small package and heavy freight shipping.
Since UPS Paperless Invoice became available to UPS small package customers in 2008, the service has helped save almost 250 million sheets of paper or the equivalent of 21,650 trees. With the expansion of the service to air freight customers, UPS anticipates those numbers will grow considerably.
“We are committed to making international shipping as simple as possible for our customers around the world,” Scott Aubuchon, director of international air freight marketing for UPS said. “Our expanded services enable more of our customers to streamline and expedite the customs process while cutting costs and saving time.”
UPS Paperless Invoice and UPS WorldShip are ideal for industrial manufacturing and distribution industries as well as retail, consumer goods, professional services, high-tech companies and other companies that deal with overseas movements on a regular basis. The new enhancements also make it possible for UPS Paperless Invoice customers to submit an electronic NAFTA Certificate of Origin for packages moving between the U.S. and Canada, reducing or eliminating duties for NAFTA eligible goods.
Edited by Kevin Scarpati
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.