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UPS opens online shipping tools shop

E-commerce shipping giant United Parcel Service unveils a new site that consolidates its Web-based shipping tools.

E-commerce shipping giant United Parcel Service today unveiled a new site that consolidates its Web-based shipping tools.

The new store, dubbed Brown & Brown, will cater to businesses and will be a display area for shipping products and customer service tools, such as its tracking, address validation and service area mapping functions. Brown & Brown will also sell collectable models of UPS trucks and aircraft that the 93-year-old firm has used to transport packages.

Atlanta-based UPS has been in high gear on the Web since raising $5.47 billion in its record-setting initial public offering in November.

Last week, the company announced it was branching into electronic bill payment. UPS also began offering services for electronic-document delivery and logistical problems associated with home delivery, as well as product tracking for companies.

Analysts said prior to its IPO that UPS was in a position to profit from the Internet boom like few other companies. Studies showed that UPS was delivering most of the goods bought on the Net and that UPS would grow as the Internet grew. The company is facing challenges from old rivals such as Federal Express and Airborne Express and some newer online competitors.

Net convenience store Kozmo.com and a multitude of online grocers are hoping to ride the wave of delivery market growth to become delivery companies as well as Web merchants.