Public Safety

Local UPS Store Can’t Help Package Safety Problems

With explosions happening in packages in Texas, packing safety is a point of concern of concern at local postal services including this United States Postal store front in Marshall Square Mall. (C) 2018 Josh Schafer

Click play above to hear why local UPS stores aren’t the point of concern when it comes to package safety. 

Audio transcript: UPS script_Schafer

By Josh Schafer Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News)- Five packages have exploded in mail services over the last 19 days. Four of them were in the Austin and one outside of San Antonio. The latest package explosion occurred in a FedEx distribution center. Authorities announced Tuesday it also intercepted a package containing an explosive device in the San Antonio area, NBC News reported.

While the bombings raise concern for packaging and mail services across the country, Oneonta UPS store owner Tasi Karabinas said local store fronts like his are not where packages are checked for security reasons.

“It’s more on the UPS end,” Karabinas said, “the guys who handle the packages and handle the actual logistics.”

The area of the business Karabinas is referring to is a regional hub, a location that aggregates all the local packages from stores like Karabinas’. At the local store fronts pre packed packages are accepted but customers often come with items and have them packaged in stores. From there, the items are sent to the hubs for distribution.

The pre-packaged items do not undergo advanced security protocol at the regional hubs themselves.

“We ask a couple questions because they are certain items you can not ship,” Karabinas said.  “There are safety requirements on some batteries and ya know firearms and liquor. There are some requirements that we can not ship those items, so we ask those questions to make sure that’s not what in the boxes. “

But outside of the questions, it’s out of the local stores hands. And for now that’s where one of the holes in package safety may lie.