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.