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UPS launches package intercept option

New service enables customers to reroute or halt delivery of packages that are in the shipping company's system.

Package delivery company United Parcel Service said on Monday it has launched a new service allowing customers to intercept or reroute sent packages before they are delivered.

"This service allows us to create flexibility and a kind of insurance policy for customers in a world of tight deadlines," Kurt Kuehn, UPS senior vice president for worldwide sales and technology, told Reuters.

The world's largest package delivery company is officially rolling out the service, called UPS Delivery Intercept, on Monday in the United States, but has been testing it for some weeks, Kuehn said.

Customers who want to either change the delivery address or halt delivery of a package that has been shipped but not yet been delivered can do so via phone or the Atlanta-based company's Web site. The service is available around the clock.

Kuehn cited the example of one UPS user who shipped double orders to a customer during the test phase and was able to intercept one order, avoiding the embarrassment of having both orders delivered.

"Also, if you send out a business presentation and realize you have the wrong figures in there, you can intercept it before it gets to your client," he added.

Kuehn said the service is unique and claimed UPS will gain a competitive advantage in the package delivery market because of the degree of control it will give customers over their packages while they're in the UPS network.

UPS delivers around 15 million packages a day worldwide. The company's main rival is Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx.