Expert advice

Want to go global? UPS can help


UPS's International Trade Tools ease the frustration of international shipping.

Being prepared is important in business. When it comes to going global, it's vital. Regulations and restrictions, varying from country to country, affect your ability to maximize overseas opportunities. That's where UPS's International Trade Tools come in, eliminating the guessing game, offering solutions that cut through red tape and providing efficient functionality so that you can stay informed and in charge. Joseph Sanders, a marketing manager of UPS solutions, discusses how these tools can help your business compete globally.

UPS's International Trade Tools portfolio eliminates the exporting guessing game, offers solutions that cut through red tape and provides efficient functionality so that you can stay informed and in charge. 

Q: What are the key benefits of the products?
A: The international Trade Tools portfolio includes a variety of solutions to support international shipping and trade. First, we have a product called UPS TradeAbility®, which consists of several trade services to help with compliance and the classification of goods you are shipping. We also have a product called UPS Paperless® Invoice, which helps customers with the preparation and submission of their trade documents. Lastly, we have a website, Import and Export Regulations, which provides regulatory information for more than 220 countries. 

Q: What are some of the key benefits of the products?
A: For UPS TradeAbility, two of the most important benefits are compliance and an accurate calculation of shipping costs. Take compliance: Government agencies have an embargo list of countries, individuals or companies. TradeAbility keeps you on the right side of compliance by informing you of these restrictions, which can result in heavy fines if breached. Meanwhile, the cost calculator handles the duties associated with the goods in an international shipment. If you’re selling through a website and you send packages without including duties, your customer may refuse the shipment when asked to pay duties upon delivery. That’s a lost customer, a product being returned and a refund. TradeAbility’s cost calculator accurately calculates those duties prior to shipping, allowing your customers to see the full price prior to purchase. The cost calculator is available at and also as an API that you can integrate into your website’s shopping cart.

Next is UPS Paperless Invoice, which is an electronic filing of a commercial invoice. The key benefits with Paperless Invoice, as with most electronic transactions, are speed and efficiency. It’s easier to expedite customs clearance and avoid delays. All of the shipment’s information, including the goods, is contained within the electronic invoice. 

Furthermore, for shipments that require additional documentation, such as a license, our recent enhancement to Paperless Invoice, called Upload My Forms, allows customers to upload their own trade documents. You do not need to manually enter the additional details when creating a shipment. You simply upload your documents and UPS will take it from there. A dozen formats are supported and include Microsoft® Word and Excel documents (.doc and .xls) and PDF files. 

In the end, there is no need to print and attach a lot of paper to your package. There’s also a green aspect since paper documents are eliminated, allowing you to promote your brand and image as a sustainable company.

Q: What's the difference between Paperless Invoice and Upload My Forms?
A: Paperless Invoice contains detailed information about the shipment's contents, such as quantities, value and tariffs. Also, it can be integrated with UPS TradeAbility. Upload My Forms is a simple means to submit supplemental documents that you create. The two solutions together provide a powerful and sustainable solution to efficiently move goods internationally. You can enroll right now for Upload My Forms. Download a step by step for doing so from WorldShip. Download the step by step for doing so on

Q: How do I get started using these tools?
A: All of our International Trade Tools are available at Upload My Forms simply requires checking a box in your profile. TradeAbility and the cost calculator API require registration on; once registered, you have access to all of the TradeAbility modules and can download the cost calculator API. 

Q: How do I learn more about UPS International Trade Tools?
A: Check out our international solutions page. It's a useful one-stop-shop resource that goes into greater depth about all of our products, including useful demos.


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