As expected, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new five-year contract with UPS, giving the 340,000 members at the carrier higher wages for part- and full-time workers, and eliminating a hated two-tier system of driver classification. More than 86% of union members voting said yes to the new contract, the Teamsters said, a record for a UPS deal.
Amazon has been quietly growing the volume of orders going out boxless, which the company says represented 11% of items shipped in 2022, a move that some see as a sea change in reducing packaging materials that will be imitated across retail. Amazon customers can choose to add an external “smiley” box at checkout, but boxless is now the default, with more apparently opting for it.
The U.S. Postal Service reported a net loss of $1.7 billion in the third quarter, placing the blame on the 2022 Postal Service Reform Act which was billed as a way to help provide relief for the USPS from the burden of unfunded retiree healthcare benefits. Parcel volume, which had been ticking up quarter by quarter at the USPS for several years, fell 2.3% to 1.7 million pieces, after dropping 5% in Q2.
With all the focus on winning in the last mile, companies need to pay more attention to critical first mile success, addressing the various headwinds that beset it. Brands need to strike a balance in optimizing the first mile that address efficiency, affordability and overall performance. Here are two critical areas to address in order to help you mitigate risks and assure a seamless flow of goods.
A U.S. Postal Service plan to insource all line hauling of mail and parcels between hubs and local delivery units, which had been handled by contractors, will be completely phased in by 2025, according to a source with knowledge of meetings with USPS officials. The USPS says “some” contract carriers will be affected by the change, which is part of its 10-year Delivering for America overhaul plan.
Evidence continues to mount that that having a range of options and more certainty about when a package will arrive are more important than 1-2-day delivery. In a July survey of 1,000 consumers commissioned by Ware2Go, 90% of respondents said they could live without 1-2-day delivery if given options like free shipping, real-time tracking and the ability to choose the delivery date.
Ecommerce fulfillment software firm Flowspace is using generative AI and machine learning technology to streamline transportation and freight management processes, automate workflows and increase the visibility into the status of inbound and outbound shipments. FlowspaceAI for Freight uses GenAI and machine learning to read and interpret emails and determine the status of each shipment.
UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached a five-year contract settlement today, averting a costly strike of 340,000 members that would have begun a week from today and giving part-time workers the pay increases their leadership had pushed for over the past few weeks, while handing newly energized organized labor a major victory. Starting part-time pay will be $21 per hour.
Two separate reports paint a portrait of the once-robust e-grocery market continuing to face challenges, one that has never been the same since the pandemic lockdowns lifted and consumers returned to physical stores en masse for everyday essentials. It goes against rosy predictions of hockey-stick growth from three years ago, even though gains have mostly held.
UPS has begun training nonunion workers among the manager ranks to step in as drivers and package handlers, should a contract settlement with the Teamsters fail to materialize before the July 31 deadline, a move that has angered the union as talks remain stalled with about two weeks remaining. The union president also said they don’t want or need the White House to mediate in the talks.