United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) has acquired consulting and trade compliance management company Sandler Travis Trade Advisory Services Inc (STTAS),  the world's largest independent provider of global trade management services.

The move positions UPS to be the global customs broker of choice, according to the firm.

The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, sees UPS acquire SSTAS from customs and international trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg.

STTAS' 750 trade professionals provide services in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America and help clients comply with the ever-changing and complex rules, regulations and laws covering international trade.

Almost 70% of the company's employees work outside of the US, in strategic offices in cities such as Shanghai, Bengaluru, Aberdeen, Warsaw, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo. These additional locations will complement UPS trade management services' existing global operations in Hefei, Wroclaw, and Singapore.

Meanwhile, STTAS also provides an advanced trade management technology platform that UPS says it will continue to build upon over time.

"UPS customers tell us they are looking for a full suite of brokerage services, including trade management and advisory services, from a partner that can help them on a global basis," says Jim Barber, president, UPS International. "As our customers' global broker of choice, we can now offer a wider portfolio of services. Combining Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services with our existing UPS trade management services provides customers with an even more powerful set of solutions designed to maximise their trade investments and minimise complexity, time and cost throughout their international trade operations."

STTAS will continue to provide its same services, from the same offices and with use of the same personnel, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg said. It will also continue to serve as a resource to its parent company on joint client issues as it has in the past.

Earlier this year, UPS acquired Zone Solutions, which specialises in Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) services.

According to the firm, its latest two acquisitions will "enhance existing UPS solutions and add industry-leading trade management services to UPS's global portfolio, forming a foundation the company will continue to build upon.

It added: "Some of these solutions include: duty drawback; regulatory compliance; rules of origin determination; harmonized tariff schedule (HS) classification; export control classification; order management and free trade agreement qualification and verification, and more. All such services all designed to free up UPS customers' resources and improve their bottom line and supply chain velocity."