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UPS has launched UPS Economy, a new service  designed to address small and medium-sized retailers’  international shipping needs.

The service will initially be available to customers in the U.S., Canada, China, Hong Kong and the UK  but UPS says it has plans to expand it to other key global markets.

“Our customers are seeking growth opportunities by doing what UPS did decades ago – they’re going global,” said Nando Cesarone, president of UPS International. “The opportunities are even greater in today’s dynamic international trade environment with cross-border e-commerce set to grow two times faster than domestic e-commerce. Global cross-border online sales are projected to make up 20% of e-commerce in 2022.”

“This new service gives our customers options to seize international growth opportunities,” Cesarone added. “And while the ‘last mile’ gets a lot of attention in our industry, we know small businesses look carefully at the first mile. With the same driver, same pick-up service and competitive rates, we’re making that first mile easier and more economical for even the smallest of our customers. This service enables small businesses to compete like micro-multinationals.

The UPS Economy service benefits UK. businesses in the B2C and B2B space that are looking to export to key e-commerce destinations across the world, but have been waiting for a more affordable way to ship internationally. Exporting opens doors to new customers, and helps businesses diversify revenue to offset economic shifts.

“The launch of UPS’ new cost-effective cross-border e-commerce service will help set up small and medium-sized businesses in the UK for success,” said Mark Vale, President, UPS UK, Nordics and Ireland. “While many businesses are facing global trade uncertainty, the flexibility of UPS’ smart global logistics network creates exciting opportunities for them to scale-up and expand to new international markets.”

This new service offers customers more flexibility by allowing them to choose between shipping with delivery duties paid or unpaid, reassuring levels of visibility and tracking of delivery milestones via UPS.com, as well as the convenience and reliability of access to UPS’s global logistics network.

“With both B2C and B2B cross-border trade continuing to expand, our small and medium-sized customers need services that offer flexibility, visibility and affordability – giving them a better shot at competing with bigger businesses,” Cesarone said. “With the other e-commerce services in our product suite, such as UPS eFulfillment and Ware2Go, our smart global logistics network offers customers the choice, convenience and control needed to take their business to the next level.”