Update – July 25th
UPS and The Teamsters Union have reached an agreement and a strike is no longer expected August 1st. We will be resuming our normal ETAs effective immediately.
If you’re curious: The Union claims to have secured an offer that grants their members an additional $30 billion over the next five years. If true, this contract would represent a substantial hit to UPS’s profit. Considering that UPS made $12 billion net in 2022, it would seem that they’re giving half of that away every year just to maintain operations. This is such a large cost that they will inevitably attempt to pass it along to the consumer, so shipping price increases may be coming.
Update – July 20th
UPS has requested that the Teamsters Union allow them an opportunity to present on more offer, and resume negotiations on July 23rd. It is possible that these negotiations bear fruit, but will almost certainly be brought down to the wire. In the meantime, we’ve adjusted out delivery estimates to include delays beginning August 1st.
Our Current Plan for Dealing with a Strike
We have an established and ongoing relationship with FedEx, and they have assured existing clients like us that they will seek to fulfill our orders instead of causing unnecessary delays. However, it is impossible that delays do not occur, so our new estimates for the months of August estimate that FedEx will effectively operate for 12 delivery days rather than the usual 20.
A new challenger [USPS] approaches…
While the Postal Service is not a new challenger, it did launch a new service on July 9th. USPS Ground Advantage is meant to leverage the Postal Service’s unapparelled (and constitutionally-mandated) final-mile delivery abilities into fresh competition for FedEx and UPS. Unfortunately, USPS has a reputation for late deliveries, damaged shipment as well as an uncanny ability to simply not know where they put your stuff. Arriving on the scene just in time for a strike will stress test this new initiative to a great degree, but we’re watching eagerly to see if they can pull it off. It’s rates are very competitive, and at times as low as half the cost of UPS’s, so it’s possible that this will help alleviate the burden FedEx will be placed under.
Despite apparent progress being made in negotiations between the Teamsters union and UPS, talks were abandoned on July 5th. This makes a strike later this month likely, though it is possible that last minute negotiations will take place to avoid it.
What a UPS strike means for you (and us)
A UPS strike will immediately result in a shipping backlog of packages big and small. All other carriers and shippers will immediately be overwhelmed. Expect shipping times to double (or more).
Thank you for sticking with us. Despite the many disruptions that have occurred in the past few year we’ve been happy to have clients like you. We hope you’ll stick through this one as well.