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Posted: June 17, 2011

UK Blocks UPS From Some Shipping Facilities

By Veronica Waters

Atlanta, GA None —

UPS is responding to the UK banning the company's planes from some air cargo facilities. 

The British government made the decision after having conducted security tests.  The Department for Transport gave no details on the security issues and didn't identify the locations involved.

Atlanta-based UPS said the restrictions were the result of a scheduled government security review, rather than any specific threat.  Some facilities were temporarily taken offline.  UPS spokeswoman Laurie Mallis says the British action could lead to delays in package deliveries.

"We've activated our contingency plans," Mallis tells WSB.  "Customers are aware.  Service levels will return to normal levels early next week.

Mallis says the company is working to address the Brits' concerns, but won't talk about security specifics.

"We really cannot reveal any specific details about our security procedures as this would be counter-productive to their effectiveness," she said.

No other air freight companies were mentioned in the U.K. government statement.

Last October, two bombs were sent disguised in toner cartridges on cargo flights from Yemen bound for the United States. One was discovered at a FedEx cargo facility in Dubai, the other at the UPS depot at East Midlands Airport, 100 miles  north of London.  Officials said the bombs were viable and could have exploded in mid-flight. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was blamed for the plot, which was foiled by a tip-off from Saudi intelligence.

In March, someone shipped a hoax bomb which had a timer, wires and a detonator to Turkey via the UPS office in London.

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