ATLANTA (AP) _ United Parcel Service launched a new consulting subsidiary Monday to help companies evaluate their overall business operations.

UPS Consulting Inc., based in Atlanta, will be led by Gene Long, a former executive at Ernst & Young and Dell Computer.

Initially, the company will have five consultants working mostly for larger firms in the consumer products, retail, technology and telecommunications fields, said Pat Steffen, a spokeswoman for UPS Consulting.

UPS, the world's largest freight hauler, has moved aggressively in the past two years to diversify and expand its revenue sources. The company has launched subsidiaries to help companies with financing, logistics, customs brokering and freight forwarding.

``It's such a natural expansion,'' Steffen said of the consulting unit. ``This synchronizes all of the parts together.''

UPS shares rose 4 cents to close at $50.84 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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On the Net:

http://www.ups-consulting.com