UPS, FedEx cooperating with law enforcement on Aurora movie massacre probe

It was all perfectly legal and convenient for Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes to turn to e-commerce to allegedly stock his arsenal for a movie theater shooting spree.

Holmes had reportedly amassed more than 6,000 rounds of small arms ammunition from online arms merchants and had the bullets delivered by private carriers that may have included FedEx and United Parcel Service.

Memphis-based FedEx and Atlanta-based UPS said Monday they were cooperating with investigators and took a relatively low profile about possible involvement in the alleged shooter’s supply chain.

While the U.S. Postal Service does not carry live ammunition, FedEx and UPS routinely do so under special conditions imposed on hazardous cargo.

Asked about reports of a surveillance video showing Holmes picking up 150 pounds of ammunition at a FedEx outlet in Colorado, FedEx issued this statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by this terrible tragedy in Colorado. We have a long-standing history of close cooperation with law enforcement agencies. Any questions regarding the investigation should be directed to authorities.”

A spokeswoman said UPS was cooperating with investigators and hadn’t confirmed whether the suspect received ammunition deliveries by UPS.

“While we are cooperating with the FBI for further investigation, it was erroneously reported (Sunday) that our drivers had been interviewed by authorities,” said sporkeswoman Susan Rosenberg. “This didn’t happen for any drivers that delivered to either the suspect’s residential or university addresses. If a reporter talked to any UPS driver, then all they heard was anecdotal about our delivery process in general but they wouldn’t have any information to the specific addresses. We’re still reviewing data, so we have no specific confirmation on deliveries or corresponding shippers.”

CBS News reported on “Face the Nation” Sunday that authorities had learned the suspect shopped online outlets such as and and that a UPS driver told authorities that 90 packages had been delivered to Holmes’ work address.

“There’s nothing inherently wrong as long as the requirements are met between licensed dealers and licensed collectors,” UPS spokeswoman Rosenberg said. “UPS puts responsibility for the shippers with regulated goods to follow the requirements, and we have checks and balances in our systems and processes to see that they’re doing so.”

UPS and the Economy

                Fragile European economy dampens CEOs’ outlook

Deteriorating financial conditions in Europe are weighing down companies’ profits. And hope of salvation from other regions – such as China, Brazil and the United States – is starting to dim as those economies weaken.

That’s the message from this week’s parade of second-quarter earnings from some of the world’s largest companies.

United Parcel Service Inc.

- WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: UPS moves millions of packages between consumers and businesses every day – everything from flowers to car parts and computer chips.

- WHAT THE NUMBERS SAID: Second-quarter net income rose just 2 percent to $1.12 billion, while revenue improved by little more than 1 percent. International revenue fell, while Internet shoppers kept UPS trucks busy in the U.S. UPS sees the global economy getting worse before it gets better. That’s why it cut its full-year earnings forecast to $4.50 to $4.70 per share from $4.75 to $5 per share previously.

- WHAT THE EARNINGS SAID ABOUT THE ECONOMY: The world’s largest package delivery company has thrived domestically, but now it’s more pessimistic about U.S. growth than many economists. UPS expects the U.S. economy, by far the world’s largest, will grow just 1 percent this year. The company cited slower growth at U.S. service companies, lower retail sales and still-high unemployment as signs that the U.S. isn’t holding up as well as UPS anticipated just three months ago. And shipments out of Asia, which grew by double-digits two years ago, have shrunk as Europe’s economy founders.

- WHAT THE EXPERTS SAID: Several analysts reduced their outlooks for the company, saying the quarterly results were somewhat disappointing. Even so, they think UPS should be able to grow in a weaker global economy as it saves money through reduced service out of Asia.

- THE QUOTE: “Economies around the world are showing signs of weakening and our customers are increasingly nervous,” Chairman and CEO Scott Davis said in a conference call with analysts. He added: “I wouldn’t say we’re pessimistic about the future. We’re just a lot more uncertain about how much the economy will grow.”