UPS is offering customers shipping less than a container load of goods from Europe to the United States an alternative for faster and more affordable shipping. Its new preferred less than container load (PLCL) service started in 2011, servicing 26 ports in Asia, and now will include an additional four ports in Western Europe. The shipping method is a way for customers to balance the speed of air freight deliveries offered by air shipping with the more affordable ocean shipping service, called less than container load or LCL.
The new ports are to be opened in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. According to vice president of UPS’s ocean freight services, Keith Andrey, there has been a lot of customer interest in the preferred ocean shipping service in Asia, and he expects the new offerings in Europe to generate the same amount of enthusiasm. The PLCL service will offer shippers 40 percent faster delivery from ports in Europe to ports in the United States.
The new preferred service is designed to meet the needs of importers bringing goods to the United States from European suppliers, and to service European customers shipping to the United States, such as industrial products and materials, automotive parts and materials, retail goods, healthcare instruments and medications, and other commonly imported goods.
Previously, customers only had options of the highly expensive air freight shipments of less than container load quantities, or the slower but cheaper less than container load service, which was shipped by ocean. Since ports were not available for faster ocean shipments, the cheaper method was too slow to meet the needs of many shippers. So far, UPS has not announced plans to open more than the four ports mentioned above.
UPS (or United Parcel Service of America) is a worldwide logistical company offering shipping services for companies, organizations, governments, and individuals.