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UPS Pilots Urge U.S. to Strengthen Cargo Screening

United Parcel Service Inc.’s pilots union urged U.S. officials to tighten “inadequate” screening for all-cargo airlines after last week’s discovery of explosive devices in packages sent from Yemen.

The Independent Pilots Association wants better screening for large shipments and increased use of current resources such as x-ray machines, bomb-sniffing dogs and physical inspection, Brian Gaudet, a spokesman for the association, said in an e-mail.

“We think the TSA must reevaluate intelligence-driven programs such as the freight assessment system and inject random screening into our systematic approach to higher screening standards,” Gaudet said.

The request follows the Oct. 29 discovery of explosives in Chicago-bound UPS and FedEx Corp. packages that White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said were “intended to do harm.” Atlanta-based UPS, the world’s largest package-delivery company, hasn’t commented on how it will change procedures. The company halted service from Yemen last week after the discovery.

Changes are most needed for packages coming from “known terrorism hotspots” such as Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan, Gaudet said.

While new U.S. rules implemented in August require screening of all cargo in the bellies of passenger airliners, goods on air freighters aren’t subject to those checks. Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx runs the biggest cargo airline.

UPS was unchanged at $67.34 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 17 percent this year. Fedex fell $1.30 to $86.42 and have risen 3.6 percent this year.

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