Paper is a pain for exporters, that’s why UPS is paperless

Find out how going digital can open opportunities for small businesses looking to ship globally
AboutDesktop-1440X752-PaperlessInvoice.jpg AboutTablet-768X760-PaperlessInvoice.jpg AboutMobile-1023X960-PaperlessInvoice.jpg

Cut it out: Even in today’s digital age, paper records are still used in many international shipments – much the same way exporters have done for centuries. Some reports estimate that roughly 4 billion paper documents* move through the global trade system on any given day. That’s why at UPS, we’re taking paper out of the equation.

“Many customers are surprised to learn that exporting something like a tea kettle could require a four-page customs form,” said Chris Rubio, UPS head of customs brokerage strategy. “Paperwork adds to costs and inefficiencies that keep many small businesses from exporting at all.”

UPS Paperless Invoice, part of our next generation of brokerage services, allows customers to submit trade and customs documentation electronically. Paperless means less manual processing and fewer customs holds. It also removes millions of pieces of paper from the shipping process.

The big picture: According to a 2022 McKinsey & Company report, if trade documents went fully digital, the transition could save $6.5 billion in direct costs and enable $40 billion in global trade. The report also said going digital can help small businesses compete on a more level playing field with larger companies.

“With UPS, importing and exporting can be as simple as shipping domestically,” said Chris. “Cross-border e-commerce will surpass $1 trillion, so small businesses' export opportunity is clear.”

Did you know? UPS is committed to sustainability with the goal of achieving 100% carbon neutrality by 2050. Paperless documentation saves tons of paper and millions of gallons of water used to make paper every single year.


* Global trade still depends on 4 billion paper documents daily. The U.K. is trying to change that, Fortune

Related Stories