Atlanta-based United Parcel Service (UPS) is enhancing its Trade Direct service to better combine cross-border movement of freight and packages to reduce or even eliminate the need for expensive warehousing of goods.

The biggest improvement, said UPS, is that customers can use a common computer application to prepare and process freight and package shipments and track those shipments across all modes – including LTL service – via its www.ups.com website just like small packages. The company added that not only does that make it easier for customers to check the status of goods in transit, but it reduces the amount of time necessary to prepare shipment labeling and vital customs documentation.

“We’re positioning Trade Direct to speed transit times for our customers even as supply chains get longer and more complex so as to cut the expense of warehousing,” said Kurt Kuehn, UPS’s senior VP for worldwide sales and marketing. “With these latest enhancements, we’re simplifying the information management challenges that can arise with increased global trade.”

Trade Direct is designed to streamline supply chains by making it easier to move goods directly from international factories through customs to multiple locations in the U.S. or Europe while eliminating the need for warehouse stops, Kuehn said. Individually packaged goods are typically labeled for U.S. or European delivery and then consolidated into one freight shipment, he explained. Then, after moving via airplane, ship or truck, the goods clear U.S. Customs as a consolidated unit, with that unit then unloaded and the individual packages or pallets routed directly for final delivery, Kuehn said.

UPS offers Trade Direct via ocean and airfreight service, with Trade Direct Cross Border handling trucking moves between Mexico, Canada and the U.S.