UK bans UPS from screening air cargo

The UK Government has banned international parcel carrier UPS from screening air cargo at several sites across the UK. Restrictions have been put in place due to problems with security, the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed. However, the specific violations and locations where restrictions have been put in place have not been released.

The ban will cause major disruptions to UPS’s domestic and international shipping agenda.

A DfT spokesperson told Post&Parcel: “We can confirm that, following careful consideration, the Department has restricted the number of sites in the UK at which UPS Ltd are permitted to screen air cargo until it has satisfied current security requirements.

“The safety of the travelling public is paramount and our security regime is kept under constant review. For obvious security reasons we will not comment on the details,” he concluded.

In response to the decision, a UPS spokesperson said: “A Department for Transport scheduled review identified areas of concern UPS is working to address. As a result, some facilities in the UK have been temporarily taken offline, which in some cases has led to delays in the movement of packages.”

Last October, a bomb was discovered inside a printer cartridge on a UPS aircraft at East Midlands Airport. The cartridge originated from Yemen and was destined for the US. The device was not picked up by security screening, and was only discovered after a tip-off.

At the same time, a bomb was also discovered on a FedEx plane in Dubai.

UPS said it expects normal service to resume by early next week, and until then it has activated temporary contingency plans.

A spokesperson continued: “Security is a shared responsibility requiring a partnership between private enterprise and governmental authorities around the world. UPS routinely works with all the appropriate agencies and authorities around the world, including the UK’s Department for Transport, to ensure the safety of its network.

“In cooperation with the Department for Transport, UPS continues to assess the operation of its UK network to ensure full compliance of EU and UK security requirements, leading to a higher level of service to its customers”.

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