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UPS Expands Photo ID Requirement for Retail Shipping

UPS Expands Photo ID Requirement for Retail Shipping
A driver exits his truck at a United Parcel Service sorting facility in Hodgkins, Illinois. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

United Parcel Service Inc. will require customers shipping packages to show government-issued photo identification in an effort to intensify security after explosives were found on October cargo flights.

The new policy expands a previous rule in place at UPS Customer Centers to include all retail outlets. Customers without a pre-printed shipping label will have to display an ID, Atlanta-based UPS said in a statement today.

“Since retail centers experience a significant increase in business from occasional shippers during the busy holidays, this enhancement adds a prudent step in our multilayered approach to security,” Dale Hayes, vice president of small business and retail marketing, said in the statement.

British authorities discovered a bomb in a printer cartridge sent from Yemen at the U.K’s East Midlands airport in England that was timed to explode over the eastern seaboard of the U.S. Another device was intercepted and defused at a FedEx Corp. center in Dubai. Both were bound for Chicago from Yemen.

FedEx requires shippers in some instances to produce a photo ID, Sandra Munoz, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “The company is always looking at methods that will enhance the extensive measures we have in place,” she said.

UPS is the world’s biggest package-delivery company, and Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx operates the largest cargo airline.

20 Million Pieces

Together, they move about 20 million pieces a day, according to Satish Jindel, president of SJ Consulting Group in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. Transportation-security specialists such as Hans Weber, owner of San Diego-based consultant Tecop International Inc., have said that volume complicates efforts to screen and detect all dangerous parcels.

The Transportation Security Administration, which requires air carriers to submit cargo manifest information at least four hours before landing in the U.S., is working with express and passenger carriers to get those data earlier, Doug Brittin, the agency’s general manager for air cargo security, said today.

The TSA is starting a test project this week with express carriers, such as UPS and FedEx, and will begin working with passenger carriers and the forwarding companies that tender them freight in “early January,” Brittin said at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

The goal is to “get information about a shipment before it flies,” Brittin told reporters after the speech.

Deutsche Post

Deutsche Post AG, the world’s biggest transporter of air and sea freight by volume, has been working with government agencies and industry counterparts evaluating whether new regulations are needed following discovery of the explosives, Chief Financial Officer Lawrence Rosen said in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York.

New policies would likely use an approach, which the industry supports, “differentiating strongly between the security measures that you would apply to known and secure shippers versus unknown, unsecure shippers, and focusing also on the countries of origin,” Rosen said. Another component “is to apply the most security measures at the origin, rather than somewhere in transit,” he said.

UPS was unchanged at $71.69 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. FedEx declined 63 cents to $92.66 at 4:06 p.m., and Deutsche Post fell 14 cents to 12.35 euros on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

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