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ATLANTA: United Parcel Service (UPS) has been authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) to transmit hazardous material information electronically, by phone, or fax starting in June this year.

The new permit only affects UPS small package domestic shipments using tractor-trailer operations between its facilities and the customer. UPS Freight and other services will still be required to carry hard-copy documents for hazardous materials.Propane PERC UPS

"We made it a priority to cut red tape and improve efficiency and moved expeditiously with this special permit," said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman. "Sharing hazmat information electronically will improve transportation efficiency without sacrificing public safety."

Sam Elkind, UPS corporate regulated goods manager added. "This new procedure not only creates new efficiencies, but will also reduce overall paperwork and streamline the reporting process if an accident or emergency situation occurs."

In a related move, UPS is to spend $70 million to set up an initial 50 U.S. fueling stations to support the introduction of 1,000 new propane-powered trucks. The new fleet will replace gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles in rural areas of Louisiana and Oklahoma and each will be able to travel 200 miles on a single tank of propane.

With operations beginning by mid-2014 and completed early next year, the new fleet is expected to travel more than 25 million miles and replace the consumption of 3.5 million gallons of gasoline and diesel a year. UPS says it is benefitting from propane price stability resulting from increased natural gas production in the U.S.

The company currently operates 3,150 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles in the U.S. including all -electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, CNG, LNG, propane, biomethane, and lightweight fuel-saving composite body vehicles.

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