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Tess Vigeland: Many of you non-procrastinators out there may have already started your holiday shopping. And if you’re really on top of things, you may have started shipping things off already. Hats off to you, if that’s the case. But be forewarned: You’ll face an extra security step if you’re shipping via UPS from certain outlets. You’ll need to show a photo ID that matches the name of the sender on your package.
From New York, Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek Smith has our story.
UPS clerk 1: Next ready customer, going to number 11…
Stacey Vanek Smith: It’s a busy day at a post office in midtown Manhattan. People are lined up, waiting to ship their holiday gifts. And they’ve got lots of them.
Shoppers have been busy in stores and online, says consultant Satish Jindel.
Satish Jindel: Doing very well. An increase in online sales translated to high volumes for the parcel carriers like UPS and FedEx.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans are expected to send more than half a billion packages. Not exactly the easiest time to beef up security, but UPS’s Susan Rosenburg says she thinks customers will understand when they’re asked to show ID.
Susan Rosenburg: It’s a busy time of year and we’re asking for one more step in the process, but we think consumers will appreciate that this is for security and safety.
In October, mail bombs from Yemen were intercepted at FedEx and UPS facilities. That’s put increased pressure on shippers to step up security, says analyst Kevin Sterling with BB&T.
Kevin Sterling: I think the industry does need to beef up security. I think the bigger question is what kind of cost will be involved.
Sterling says UPS maybe hoping efforts like this will preempt stricter regulations from Washington. Lawmakers are mulling new security standards for shipping packages that could be costly for the industry and us. He expects we’ll start seeing security surcharges along with the fuel surcharge we’re already paying.
UPS clerk 2: $11.20’s your change, miss. Thank you and have a good day.
In New York, I’m Stacey Vanek Smith for Marketplace.
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