UPS (NYSE: UPS) expanded its direct LCL offering to more than 300 additional lanes in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South America during 2012. With more than 1,700 direct LCL lanes servicing 116 countries, UPS continues to expand its ocean freight offering to meet the growing market demands. “UPS offers LCL services from virtually any origin and destination in the world,” said Andy Huckbody, vice president of UPS Ocean Freight Services. “By enhancing our direct LCL offering, we’re giving our customers access to more reliable and predictable ocean freight service in more markets. In Asia alone, we added 139 outbound lanes, including 68 from China, to connect retailers and industrial suppliers in Europe and North America to new global markets. Given the increased access to Panama and its presence as one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, we added direct LCL lanes to this geography as well.” UPS also added direct LCL service from countries that importers are turning to for lower labor cost sourcing such as Vietnam, where UPS added 10 outbound direct LCL lanes to the U.S., Europe and intra-Asia in 2012. “Expanded LCL lanes also enable companies to continue to mode shift from heavy air freight by reducing overall transportation spend as companies look for cost savings,” added Huckbody. Additional enhancements to the UPS direct LCL offering included 12 inbound and outbound lanes to Busan, South Korea to meet demand stemming from the Free Trade Agreement signed between the U.S. and South Korea in March 2012. The Europe region experienced the second-largest increase in outbound lanes, with UPS adding 81 direct LCL lanes from the area. “Companies in the European Union are looking to high-growth emerging markets for expansion. UPS has enabled Europe’s industrial manufacturing companies to reach emerging markets including 12 countries in Asia/Subcontinent, 10 countries in Middle East/Africa and 11 countries in Latin America, including Mexico, Brazil and Chile,” added Huckbody.