Interesting Facts about UPS

Did you know….

1.           UPS will be 100 years old in summer 2007. Jim Casey, a high-school dropout and the teenage son of Irish immigrants, founded the company with his partner Claude Ryan on August 28, 1907 in the basement of a Seattle saloon.

2.           The ubiquitous brown UPS delivery vehicles are called “package cars”, never “trucks”.  Early on UPS wanted to distinguish itself as a delivery company, not a trucking company.  And for the same reason, the “semis” or big rigs that transfer packages are called “feeder vehicles.”

3.           Though canary yellow was the original choice, the deep brown color of the UPS package car was inspired by George Pullman’s luxurious railroad sleeper cars first introduced in 1865. The color is not only sophisticated, but doesn’t show dirt! 

4.           In 1927 UPS was one of the first companies in the nation to offer their employees shares of the company. Today UPS is primarily owned by its employees; only ten percent of UPS stock is available to the public.

5.           UPS actually started delivering packages by air in the 1920s, forming United Air Express in 1929, which led to a merger with Curtiss-Wright Corporation. After the October 1929 stock market crash, UPS didn’t provide air service again until 1953.

6.           During WWII women who filled delivery positions left behind by men serving overseas were fondly known as “Brown Bettys.”  UPS delivered its billionth package right after the war, in 1946.

7.           For most of its history the main competitor of UPS was the United States Post Office. Because of state and federal regulations that protected the post office monopoly, it took 68 years for founder Jim Casey to realize his dream of coast-to-coast delivery, which was finally accomplished in 1975.

8.           It is virtually impossible for a non-UPSer to acquire any piece of the UPS delivery uniform, which includes the famous brown shorts. You’ll never see them on e-Bay!  UPS uniforms are carefully controlled and reclaimed for disposal once worn out.

9.           Though you’d never notice this from the street, a white roof panel on UPS package cars helps reduce interior temperatures.  UPS has also launched a new fleet of energy-efficient hybrid vehicles.

10.       UPS presently serves over 200 countries and territories, including every single address in North America and Europe.  UPS has the world’s ninth largest airline, with 268 jet aircraft, and over 92,000 package cars.

11.       7.9 million customers use UPS daily.  UPS delivers 10,277 pieces every minute of every day, over 14.8 million a day. The UPS web site gets 10 million on-line requests daily.

12.       UPS’s main air hub, Worldport in Louisville, Kentucky, sorts 304,000 packages each hour, about 1.25 million daily. The facility is 4 million square feet with over 120 miles of conveyor belts, yet a package can go through the sort in 8 minutes. Worldport is so large that it’s a five mile hike just to walk around its exterior. And it’s currently being expanded to handle 487,000 packages per hour.

13.       UPS is America’s fourth largest employer with 348,400 UPSers. Worldwide, UPS is the 15th largest employer with 407,000 UPSers. And with over 200,000 Teamster members on its payroll, UPS employs the most Teamsters of any other company.

14.       More than 25,000 UPS employees in more than 100 countries worldwide belong to the UPS Supply Chain group, which provides logistical support for other companies, such as repairing broken Toshiba electronics and expediting Nikes on their way from Asian factories to American feet.

15.       In 2006 Fortune magazine voted UPS most socially responsible business for the third year running, in recognition of its achievements in sustainability, philanthropy, education and minority employment.

16.       For the past six years, UPS employees have donated more to United Way that any other company. In 2001 they were the first company employees ever to donate over $50 million.

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