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.
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.
Even as more retailers are increasing thresholds for free returns shipping in the face of massive volume and steadily rising costs, 79% of consumers said they’d be more likely to make a repeat purchase from those offering free returns or exchanges, according to a new survey from solution provider Loop. 75% said they expect retailers to make new product suggestions based on their purchase.
Can UPS and the Teamsters reach agreement in time? Should UPS meet the union’s demand for higher part-time worker pay, or leave its last offer on the table? Is there a joint realization that too much is at stake? And if it happens, how will other carriers pick up the slack? We discuss all this with Gaston Curk, CEO of postal consolidator OSM Worldwide in this MCM CommerceChat podcast.
OriginBX, a nonprofit organization looking to standardize how detailed product data is shared for tax and trade compliance in cross-border commerce, including ways to ensure ethical sourcing by avoiding goods produced by forced labor, will soon publish version one of its standards. OriginBX’s initial standard will deal with digital sharing of product details in technology and electronics.
One ultimatum deadline between UPS and the Teamsters union was passed successfully on Friday, raising hopes of a contract settlement, but another one came and went today with prospects somewhat dimmed as the two sides cut off talks. Each party blamed the other for the breakdown, with three weeks left until the July 31 expiration of the current five-year agreement and pay the main sticking point.
Stepping up its hardball tactics, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters walked away from the bargaining table Wednesday in the midst of contract negotiations with UPS, demanding the carrier provide its last, best offer Friday or a strike would be a likely outcome, with worker pay the key issue. UPS says it is working around the clock to reach a settlement before the July 31 deadline.
A recent trend in ecommerce network design supports a strategy of “getting product closer to the customer,” a more efficient model that delivers on service-level promises. Then came COVID-19, upending everything and accelerating the pace of change in inventory and supply chain strategy, in turn affecting network design. Retailers and analysts discuss the current state and where it’s headed.
Mexico and Canada are seeing an increase in manufacturing and shipping to the U.S. as nearshoring takes hold in the face of uncertainty over trade with China and more businesses adopt a “plus one” strategy regarding the country’s largest trading partner, maintaining their base while diversifying their sourcing strategy. Inbound freight from Mexico outstripped China by 15%, while Canada was 5% higher.