How Do Express Parcel Service Companies Ensure Package Safety

Posted in Shipping Industry and tagged on

We know there has been a heightened state of security consciousness in the air and ground parcel delivery system since the events of 9/11 occurred. In addition, illegal drug proliferation through domestic carriers in the U.S. is an issue that law enforcement grapples with whether it’s cross-country, or cross-border distribution.

Unlike the United States Postal Service (USPS), express parcel service companies like FedEx and UPS, are private firms. However, all logistics firms must cooperate and conform to Government regulations for not only homeland security and illegal drugs, but must also comply to a whole host of shipping and cargo regulations, from import/export and customs rules, to hazardous materials and dangerous goods* handling.

Security measures that have been implemented in hubs and distribution centers for most companies are closely guarded secrets. Despite this, we know based on the carrier’s terms and conditions that they reserve a broad right to inspect packages, including x-ray, and any other mandated screening technologies. However, with millions of packages flowing through the hubs of FedEx and UPS each day, the inspection of every ground parcel with every available test is not practical. On the other hand, in the case of air cargo, there are mandated requirements for 100% screening of air cargo on all passenger aircraft.

The safety of the U.S. express parcel service is not limited to physical inspection and regulation alone. The Government, in its approach to security, has more of a holistic view in practice. For example, since 9/11, the TSA monitors and maintains a “known shipper” database at an annual cost of $10 million dollars. UPS made a business decision to require that all customers provide a valid government-issued identification card for all shipments. This was explained as a measure to not only increase security in general, but to also protect UPS employees and persons receiving packages.

The focus on security has also led to measures including background checks on all personnel, especially those that work in the air cargo areas of the industry. FedEx required employees to obtain special IDs to make deliveries. Badges and security systems, such as the Secure Identification Display Area (SIDA) badges, are required to access restricted airport areas. They also have parking lot access cards and photo IDs for building access.

In 2011, FedEx implemented what they brand as their idM Intranet application that combined the three IDs into one card. This also required an improvement to their databases and intranet applications that can update the status of employees in real-time instead of risking a breach due to delays. Not only did the $277,000 FedEx system improve security by closing some holes within the system, they also saved an estimated $1.2 million worth of administrative tasks.

One thing is for sure. Security in the express parcel service and passenger aircraft industries will continue to be a priority that can possibly have an affect on how your shipments move through the system. It is more important than ever to track and monitor the effectiveness of the carriers you employ. Package Fox can handle this tracking and monitoring to ensure your deliveries are made on time as guaranteed. When something happens to delay a delivery, you want to know about it before the customer does. In addition, if a refund is due to you because of a breach of the guarantee, Package Fox can file your claim, follow up, and collect the fee. Learn more at

*Dangerous Goods are exempt from the on-time delivery guarantee according to the UPS terms of service.

Are you sending a out bunch of FedEx or UPS shipments every month? Chances are your invoices contain refund opportunities. Let PackageFox help you save some money.

Audit Your Bills — It’s Free!