*UPS Fields Complaints at Parcel Logistics Expo

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CHICAGO -- Two United Parcel Business customers complained to a United Parcel Service representative during a question and answer segment of a panel discussion featuring a handful of national carriers at the Parcel Logistics Expo here yesterday.

Mark Taylor, president/CEO of Taylor Systems Engineering, a firm that tracks orders and delivers refunds for customers, told Mark Sheffield, vice president of corporate marketing at UPS, that the carrier overcharged business customers that needed to continuously track packages.

On stage, Sheffield responded by stating his company's policy concerning rates for extensive tracking. After the panel ended, however, he said Taylor's company was asking UPS to offer free tracking that TSE would use as a service to its paying customers.

"They are not asking to use [the offering] in the spirit we intended," Sheffield said.

Taylor voiced several other complaints, all aimed at UPS, and was eventually asked by the panel moderator to allow others to ask questions.

Howard Patrick, logistics manager at distribution firm MSC Industrial Supply, eventually followed him. Patrick said his company has been a UPS customer for 12 years but was receiving less than satisfactory services. For instance, he said his company needed customized periodical reports rather than the standard ones that UPS issues to its business customers.

"Although we use your company to ship 4 [million] to 6 million packages a year, we have nowhere to express ourselves [adequately]," he said. "We have tried the national account manager route, but to no avail. We have ideas and concerns that need more attention."

Sheffield said he would personally meet with MSC to address its request for customized reports.

Carriers such as the U.S. Postal Service, Eastern Connection and sameday.com also attended the panel. The otherwise cordial, one-hour discussion drew 65 people.

The Parcel Logistics Expo ends today.

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