February 01, 2020: UPS has launched a significant upgrade to its shipping website by making the process of creating an international shipment smarter and easier for its small and medium business (SMB) customers in 116 countries, including 36 countries in the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA).

The smart upgrade to UPS.com will take effect in phases throughout. The African countries include - Algeria, Egypt, Angola, Congo Kinshasa, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tunisia, Burundi, Uganda, Cameroon, Kenya, Zambia, Djibouti, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe.

"With SMEs contributing over 40 percent of GDP in emerging economies, there is no doubt about the huge potential this sizable and fast-growing segment possesses," said Jean-Francois Condamine, president, high growth and emerging markets at UPS. "At UPS, we are committed to enabling and supporting their growth. By making the shipping process more intuitive, we want to show businesses, especially smaller ones - that selling across borders can be as straightforward as shipping at home. Our smart upgrade is designed to help businesses competing in today's ever-growing online markets avoid surprises that can jeopardise a sale or a customer relationship."

Set to take effect in phases throughout 2020, it will help simplify international shipping by guiding customers through the process and by providing proactive insight into total landed costs, including duties and taxes. This will allow shippers across the region to notify their customers of any additional costs before their package ships. Shippers will benefit from a more intuitive experience when generating international shipments with helpful information related to cross-border trade and paperwork managed in a streamlined process.

"Despite the incredible growth of e-commerce sales across the globe, estimated to hit $6.5 trillion by 2023, we know that many companies are hesitant to trade internationally due to the complexity of cross-border shipping," said Nando Cesarone, president of UPS International. "Small businesses, in particular, cannot afford to lose business due to unforeseen duties and taxes. Most SMBs are not in a position to dedicate the time to learn or afford to pay for the expertise to ensure they are knowledgeable about international customs brokerage requirements. This new UPS solution helps enable SMBs to ship their products around the world."

While little will change visually on ups.com, the website prompts will automatically appear, helping users by eliminating the need to use multiple databases to determine specific tariff codes for their products, or to learn at an earlier stage whether a recipient's address appears on any denied parties lists. This tool will help empower shippers to expand its customer base.

In the past year, UPS has launched several new services aimed at making exporting easier and more accessible for businesses of all sizes. These include a Saturday pick-up service for export packages for US customers to 179 countries worldwide and the launch of UPS Worldwide Economy, a cost-effective cross-border shipping service designed to provide small and medium-sized businesses flexibility, visibility and affordability. The company also announced plans to deploy UPS My Choice for Business in 29 countries in 2020. Benefits include advance delivery notifications, including day-before and day-of delivery notifications and the estimated time of delivery within 2, 3, and 4-hour windows for the majority of postal codes.

UPS continues in 2020 its multi-year investment strategy to transform and grow its Smart Global Logistics Network. The company will add more than 5 million square feet of new automated sortation capacity globally during the year, beginning with the announcement of another super-hub and a total of $1.4 billion investment in new and renovated facilities in Pennsylvania, primarily to serve customers in the northeast corridor.

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