UPS announced on Oct. 1 it will become the first package carrier to offer customers a paperless international shipping option and a returns capability to 98 countries and territories. The new services -- UPS Paperless Invoice and international UPS Returns -- will make their debut in January 2008.
"UPS Paperless Invoice saves time, money and trees," said Kurt Kuehn, UPS senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. "It saves our customers time and resources by reducing office supplies and staff time associated with Customs paperwork. It also gives our customers an easy, painless way to make a positive environmental impact by eliminating paper."
The majority of the small packages UPS ships internationally -- everything besides a letter or document -- requires a commercial invoice. UPS Paperless Invoice allows shipments to clear Customs using electronic data in lieu of these error-prone paper forms. Because information is stored electronically, customers greatly reduce their chance of making manual errors when filling out customs documentation. Incomplete forms are one of the main reasons shipments are held for clearance.
The UPS Retuns program allows the recipients of packages to efficiently return them to 98 countries or territories. These recipients can receive the international return label and commercial invoice via e-mail, local post or from a UPS driver picking up the return package. This is especially helpful to companies that sell via the Internet since many companies hesitate to offer Internet sales globally due to the difficulty of facilitating a return if a customer is not satisfied.
UPS Returns will be easily accessed via UPS shipping systems and also can be integrated into a company's systems or website.
"With these global solutions, UPS makes shipping from Atlanta to Beijing as simple as shipping from Atlanta to Boston. What's more, UPS makes getting a shipment returned from Beijing as simple as getting it returned from Boston," Kuehn said.