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All Things Shipping | January 28, 2020

UPS Expands International Shipping: What That Might Mean to You

In short, an expansion of international shipping options = more opportunities for your business.

Before we dive into some of the ways this can help your independent business grow and thrive, here are the nuts and bolts of the expansion of UPS international shipping services—one that’s pretty large in scope. In each case, services being expanded upon are ones delivering urgent shipments with a definitive day and time guarantee.

In December 2019, UPS announced how they were expanding their UPS Worldwide Express and UPS Express Plus services to more than 3,200 new postal codes in 40 countries, including five countries that are new ventures for UPS. In addition, UPS Worldwide Express Freight services are also being expanded, in this case to nearly 8,000 new postal codes in 11 countries, including four new ones for UPS. This means that UPS is now providing morning delivery in each of the world’s top 20 gross domestic product (GDP) countries.

More Specifics About Expanded Markets

UPS international shipping has been expanded in the following ways:

  • New postal codes have been added in 14 different countries in Europe.
  • There has also been an expansion to new markets in Asia, the Americas, and the Indian subcontinent.
  • The five new countries added are in the Middle East or Africa:
    • Algeria
    • Namibia
    • Réunion (UPS Worldwide Express)
    • Nigeria
    • Qatar (UPS Worldwide Express Plus)

For UPS Worldwide Express Freight, high-growth markets added include those in Russia, Nigeria, and Vietnam.

Business Benefits Listed by UPS

According to the UPS announcement, this expansion provides morning or midday delivery services for businesses that want to:

  • Improve time to market
  • Speed inventory replenishment
  • Meet urgent needs for time-sensitive shipments to international growth areas around the world

This can help companies, UPS shares, to optimize supply chains that go across borders, and speed up time-to-market in economies experiencing high growth. And, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it, anyhow) that faster shipping options will help independent businesses and online shops to satisfy their customers’ expectations.

Here’s a little bit more about each benefit.

Satisfying Customer Expectations

One 2018 business survey shows how crucial fast shipping is for e-commerce companies and other growing merchants that want to meet customer expectations. Here are a just a couple of the stats:

  • A full 80% of shoppers in the survey want same-day shipping.
  • 56% of online shoppers, aged 18-34, expect same-day delivery.
  • 49% of shoppers say they’re more likely to shop online if they can receive same-day delivery.

It’s pretty clear. Customers want fast delivery. And, maybe the stat that grabbed us the most is the expectations of 18- to 34-year-old shoppers, because they’re the wave of the future. If 56 percent of them want same-day delivery now (in fact, that’s what they wanted in 2018!), can you imagine expectations in five years? Or 10?

In today’s ultra-competitive world, having the ability to give your customers what they need, when they need it, helps to put online shops and other independent businesses on more equal footing with the big guys. And, as UPS expands the locations where this fast, time-specific delivery service is available, it expands the geographies you can reach more quickly with your shipped products.

Improving Time to Market

Speeding up delivery shortens the time needed for supply chain completion, which can help your company get innovative new products to customers before your competitors do. It’s only human nature to want something that’s new and improved—and the first company to deliver an improved product is typically considered to be the innovator.

In other words, your business may have invented something new and exciting first, but if your competitor’s speed-to-market is better than yours, that company may get the credit for their version, even if it’s substandard—simply because they shipped it out there first.

Speeding Inventory Replenishment

If your company manufactures a niche part needed for assembly plants around the world, it’s likely that growing numbers of those plants use some form of just-in-time (JIT) inventory system for their parts. When JIT works well, less warehousing is needed for plants and companies can buy just the right amount of parts and other resources needed to fulfill current orders. The flaw with this system, of course, is that if any parts don’t arrive in time, manufacturing will be delayed—and, in more extreme cases, the entire supply chain can break down.

Expanded UPS international shipping has dramatically increased the number of postal codes where they now provide expedited shipping, including several brand-new countries not previously on their urgent-shipping routes. What new manufacturing plants, then, could use your parts, now that you can deliver them rapidly and reliably?

Meeting Time Sensitive Demands

This can include shipment of medications; electronic parts that, if not replaced, can cause downtime with exorbitant costs; perishable goods, such as fruits and vegetables; items that a traveler needs (someone who will only be in that location for a short amount of time); fresh flowers; trade show materials; and much more.

If it’s urgent to the person needing the items, it’s time-sensitive.

Insights into Global Commerce

The Internet has made the world significantly smaller, and as shipping options become more consumer-centric, your ability to connect with new customers continues to grow.

Each time you ship to a new country, there will also be logistical issues to work out, including customs clearance, sales tax rates, and so forth—and you’ll also need to keep up with regulations, including IBSO’s Global Business Standard, GDPR, and Incoterms 2020.

We recently provided an overview of Incoterms 2020 (short for “International Commercial Terms”). Here are a few highlights:

• There used to be 13 Incoterms, each designed to help importers and exporters understand their responsibilities and help them to avoid costly errors

• Several were eliminated for 2020

• A few were added for 2020, making it a new total of 11 Incoterms

UPS Shipping Cost

As you’re making shipping choices for your business, you naturally need to balance the quality and speed of the delivery service you’re choosing with its cost. While, ideally, you’d prefer to always use the fasting shipping option, it needs to be affordable, not something that chips away at your company’s bottom line.

More Shipping Solutions

Shippo offers substantial savings and a more seamless shipping experience:

More than 100 million packages are shipped using Shippo each year. Learn more today.

Kelly Boyer Sagert is a full-time freelance writer living in the Cleveland area. Her range of expertise spans business, finance, logistics, automotive, e-commerce and more.

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