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.
UPS reported a 10.9% dip in second quarter revenue, but still hit its goal of $2.9 billion in operating profit thanks to $889 million in cost reduction compared with 2022. The company also said 1 million parcels a day were diverted to competitors due to concerns about labor negotiations. UPS also lowered full-year guidance mostly due to costs associated with the new contract, the company said.
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.
Postal consolidation and global logistics firm Pitney Bowes is expanding 1-3-day service to 20+ U.S. cities in the Southeast and Texas, Lousiana and New Mexico, in a push to makes its services more attractive to shippers in a down market and reverse its losses. The company will have fresh competition in Texas, where OnTrac added coverage to Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.
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.
Less-than-truckload or LTL shipping has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. When shipping LTL freight, the shipper pays for the portion of a standard truck trailer their freight occupies, with the rest of the space shared by other companies. This provides many benefits to shippers and carriers, from cost to speed to environmental efficiency.