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AIRBORNE EXPRESS ACHIEVES ISO 9000 CERTIFICATION IN CHICAGO, SEATTLE; FIRST AIR EXPRESS CARRIER TO ACHIEVE THIS DISTINCTION IN UNITED STATES

AIRBORNE EXPRESS ACHIEVES ISO 9000 CERTIFICATION IN CHICAGO, SEATTLE; FIRST AIR EXPRESS CARRIER TO ACHIEVE THIS DISTINCTION IN UNITED STATES
 SEATTLE, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Airborne Express (NYSE: ABF) announced today that it has achieved ISO 9000 certification for its facilities in the Chicago region and its Seattle worldwide headquarters. Airborne is the first air express carrier and only transportation company to achieve ISO certification at a U.S. location.
 In the Northern Illinois region, six facilities have been approved including international and domestic operations, the sales facilities, truck depots and a vehicle repair center.
 ISO 9000 is the quality program developed by the International Standards Organization (ISO), based in Geneva. The organization, presently comprised of 91 countries, provides a set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance.
 ISO 9000 certification is an asset for doing business within the European Economic Community (EEC) and worldwide. While the ISO document is known by many names, including ANSI/ASQC Q90 and BS 5750, the standards remain constant. To date, more than 30,000 companies in Europe have received certification, while in the United States, fewer than 100 companies have taken the effort to reach the world standard for quality.
 "We recognize this as the first step," said Raymond Berry, vice president, quality assurance for Airborne Express. "We next will seek certification for our Philadelphia facilities, to support our work with Dupont, and our European hub operations in London. It is Airborne's goal to be a totally certified corporation that can compete with any company, domestically and internationally."
 Specifically, Airborne's locations have received ISO 9002 certification, which is the international quality standard for service companies whose business procedures have passed an extensive audit. Airborne selected Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance Ltd. as the independent ISO assessing body.
 "ISO is an ongoing, 'living' quality audit," said David Hadlett, U.S. regional manager for Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance Ltd. "Unlike other quality programs, ISO 9000 is a continuous process for monitoring quality. While winners of most quality awards are only inspected once, ISO 9000 sees to it that everything in an organization is constantly evaluated and documented."
 To retain ISO certification, the company must conduct internal audits to ensure compliance with the ISO standard. Additionally, all procedures must be maintained at acceptable quality levels and reviewed every six months by the assessing body. Every three years, ISO certified companies must also go through a complete re-assessment on all ISO standard points.
 "Airborne is proud to be the first transportation company in the U.S. to receive ISO certification," added Berry. "This gives our customers the assurance that Airborne Express is serious about the issue of standards for quality in service and represents a significant benefit to any business shipping internationally."
 Airborne Express is the United States' fastest growing air express company, serving global corporations with the delivery of time-sensitive letters, documents, small packages and freight with its wide range of products that include next-morning, next-afternoon, second-day and same-day delivery services. In its fifth decade of international service, Airborne delivers to more than 200 countries worldwide.
 -0- 10/29/92
 /CONTACT: Melissa May, 206-281-1044, or Ann Simpson, 206-281-1018, both of Airborne Express/
 (ABF) CO: Airborne Express ST: Washington, Illinois IN: AIR TRN SU:


LM -- SE004 -- 6476 10/29/92 10:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 29, 1992
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