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UPS cuts one day transit off U.S. export deliveries by merging Saturday pick-ups, processing

U.S. exports to arrive one day earlier under new Saturday service (Photo: iStock/rayonemedia)

UPS Inc. (NYSE: UPS) said today that U.S. export shipments picked up at origin on Saturdays will be processed for delivery on that day instead of waiting until Monday, a move UPS said will cut one day off transit times to 57 international markets.

The service, which began over the weekend, will for the first time combine U.S export pick-up and processing, UPS said. Until now, U.S. export shipments picked up on Saturday would not be processed until Monday at the company’s Louisville “Worldport” hub, meaning that packages wouldn’t be delivered until Tuesday at the earliest. The shift in operations means that many export deliveries will now be made on Monday, according to the company.

Atlanta-based UPS introduced Saturday ground pick-up services in the U.S. in 2017. Until then, it only made Saturday pickups to support its air operation.

The expanded Saturday export pick-up service will benefit businesses that want to expand their exporting capabilities to six days per week, or that need to put a rush delivery on weekend orders, UPS said. The company, which has made the small to midsize customer segment a centerpiece of its 2019 strategy, cited U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) data showing that only 1 percent of the 30 million U.S. companies currently export. Of those that do, 58 percent export only to one country, according to SBA data. Small businesses have cited concerns about the cost and complexity of the exporting process as the main reason they stay close to home.

U.S. firms that exported to multiple markets were 8.5 percent less likely to go out of business than companies that didn’t export at all, UPS said, citing U.S. Commerce Department data from earlier in the decade.

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.