USPS Says New Delivery Service Could Save You During UPS Shutdown
The shipping sector is getting shaken up in more ways than one this summer.
With retailers pushing out summer sales and companies like Home Depot already releasing popular Halloween offerings, many of us are steadily shopping online without a second thought right now. Unfortunately, there's a big chance you could end up waiting longer than expected for these orders to come in, as the shipping sector is facing some major concerns. UPS is teetering on the edge of a historic strike, which has the ability to affect millions of packages. But the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is also making waves this summer with shipping options that could save you from trouble. Read on to find out more about the potential UPS shutdown, the USPS' new delivery service, and what this all may mean for you.
UPS workers are likely to strike soon.
Labor strikes have become a common sight this year, with both the Screen Actors Guild (SGA) and Writers Guild of America (WGA) strikes currently impacting Hollywood. But soon, another sector could be headed towards the same fate.
A labor dispute between UPS and the Teamsters Union—which covers more than 340,000 full-time and part-time UPS workers—has reached a contentious point as negotiations have come to a standstill, the AP reported.
The current union contract expires on July 31, and Teamsters has made it clear that unionized UPS employees will not continue to work if a new one has not been agreed upon before then. According to the AP, the shipping company and the labor union are currently locked in a battle over one point: wage increases for part-time workers.
"The largest single-employer strike in American history now appears inevitable," Teamsters General President Sean M. O'Brien said in a June 28 press release. "Executives at UPS, some of whom get tens of millions of dollars a year, do not care about the hundreds of thousands of American workers who make this company run. They don't care about our members' families. UPS doesn't want to pay up."
RELATED: 5 Warnings From Ex-UPS Employees.
Consumers have been warned that this may affect their deliveries.
UPS delivers more than 20 million packages every single day and is the largest shipping company in the U.S. by revenue, according to NPR. The latest data from the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index indicates that UPS has 37 percent of the country's parcel delivery market by revenue, while the USPS only has 17 percent in comparison.
Therefore, the strike of hundreds of thousands of UPS workers is likely to bring significant disruption to our deliveries.
"Everything will get delayed. I mean, everything, anything that you ship via the mail," Patrick Penfield, a professor of supply chain practice at Syracuse University, told local radio station WAER. "You're going to get [packages] later and later and later."
But the USPS just introduced a new delivery service.
While UPS is battling a major breakdown, the Postal Service is actually bringing new innovation to its shipping operations. In a July 10 press release, the agency announced that it has just launched a new delivery service called USPS Ground Advantage. This new option simplifies the Postal Service's ground shipping by incorporating and replacing three previous offerings: USPS Retail Ground, USPS Parcel Select Ground, and USPS First-Class Package Service.
"USPS Ground Advantage is a game changer—for our customers, the industry and USPS," Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement. "By efficiently and effectively integrating our ground transportation model to the magnificence of our last mile delivery operations, we can now offer the most compelling ground shipping offering in the market."
The agency says it can now take on more demand.
The Postal Service's new product launch may have come at the perfect time as consumers stress over the potential UPS shutdown. In his initial statement, DeJoy said that the USPS is now "ready to compete for an increased share of the growing package business" with its Ground Advantage service.
As a result, this progress and other efforts mean that the agency "absolutely can" handle more workload that could come from a UPS strike, Jacqueline Strako, an executive vice president at USPS who serves as the chief commerce and business solutions officer, told Government Executive on July 10.
"We're well staffed and we've invested and made the right transportation network changes…absolutely we are positioned to handle additional volume," Strako said.
USPS Ground Advantage is meant to be an "affordable and reliable" way to ship packages up to 70 pounds across the U.S. in just two to five business days, according to the agency's website.
"We feel we have created a powerful new business advantage for the Postal Service by harnessing our new integrated mail and package network through a single national ground product," Strako said, noting that the new service is expected to make other companies like UPS "reevaluate how they currently move their packages around the country."