Watch Now

UPS agrees to install air conditioning in package cars

Contract language would mandate in-cab AC systems in all cars purchased after Jan. 1

UPS-Teamster talks collapse (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

UPS Inc. has agreed to install air conditioning in package cars as part of language contained in the proposed master contract between the company and the Teamsters union, the Teamsters said Tuesday night.

New tentative contract language would mandate in-cab AC systems in all of UPS’ package cars purchased after Jan. 1, 2024, the Teamsters tweeted Tuesday night. Two fans would be installed in the cab of all package cars as well. All newer non-electric package cars and vans would be installed with exhaust heat shields to further protect drivers.

Also, all package cars would be retrofitted or equipped with air induction vents in the cargo compartments to alleviate extreme heat in the back of the vehicle, the Teamsters said.

“Air conditioning is coming to UPS,” tweeted General-President Sean O’Brien.

UPS has never had air conditioning in its package cars, arguing that frequent stops and starts would render such systems effectively useless.

UPS confirmed Tuesday night that it had reached an agreement with the Teamsters over heat safety that includes the use of new “cooling gear.”

The language must be ratified by the 340,000 UPS rank and file. The current five-year contract expires July 31, 2023.

F3: Future of Freight Festival


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.


  1. Tony woods

    Hello UPS and Teamsters
    I own O2 COOL MANUFACTURING LLC We are a custom auto truck and tractor and heavy equipment A/C manufacturer in the north Texas area.
    I would love to have an opportunity to talk to some one in charge over this project we have complete A/C systems now for those Trucks !
    My email tony@O2

  2. Midwest Teamster

    UPS is agreeing to this for two reasons: first, liability, and second, it’s a hard enough job to recruit for without workers dying of heat exhaustion. I strongly agree action was needed, but there are too many economic and cultural impediments pushed my managers to make this meaningful, because except for ten or fifteen days a year, drivers won’t use it. It will slow them down and so those who bonus an hour a day will never turn it on. Those who do use it will face backlash from the drivers who have to go help them at the end of the day.

    The solutions to the heat safety issue mostly rest with UPS managers, who discourage drivers from taking a real lunch, and doing it indoors. In many cases there is no place to take a lunch because the routes are in full residential for 3 or so hours. This also causes drivers to urinate in bottles , or not hydrate properly. Additionally, the proliferation of eregs over 100 pounds causes drivers operate normally when it is impossible for heart rate to regulate when lifting and many times carrying that weight. You would never see a person in a gym do a set of farmers walks then jump right onto the treadmill. UPS drivers do this all day in heat conditions and it is insane. Even with AC available, they are disincentives to rest long enough before safely resuming work.

    Ironically, going into the last contract, O’Brien got booted for proposing, in part, 2 man straight truck teams to deliver eregs. This of course is an actual solution to a problem, one that would actually result in safer work conditions for drivers. UPS is happy to agree to AC because they know it will not be widely used, and if someone dies they can blame them for not using their AC.

    What a disaster this contract is

  3. John Ossoff

    Ridiculous – This will be a tremendous expense that won’t make a bit of difference. A solution that won’t solve the problem. SO decades of UPS qualified engineers looked at this and couldn’t define a reasonable solution given the environmental factors involved (doors open constantly, start/stopping constantly. But hey, the Teamsters are the real engineers and solved the problem and have a proven business cases that proves that this expense will solve the problem and provide a great return on investment – right? Insert rolling eye emoji here.


    Now, why don’t we work on getting air conditioning and all the warehouses!!!! speaking of the warehouse located in San Jose, California on seventh Street I have never seen a warehouse more dirty disgusting with with dust in particles and RUST! Warehouse workers have to breathe that stuff in daily. We breathe in everything from dirt. There’s different shifts so when someone Hass to go and work worse, someone else just finish working and the areas not clean. It’s very unhealthy and sanitize. It’s just all out disgusting. There is no janitor there anymore. I don’t even see anybody cleaning the bathrooms, there’s cockroaches in the bathrooms it’s horrible. These warehouses should be fined people have gotten sick people develop rashes, headaches, nausea dehydration it’s basically a sweatshop they provide water bottles that are not even they’ve been sitting in the warehouse not even a room temperature I would say a little bit hotter multibillion dollar company who by the way, makes those billions and billions off of the hard-working warehouse people in off of the package car drivers. You would think that you would take care of the people who actually make you the money.!!!!!! All MISS CEO seems to be doing is sitting up there IN her nice air-conditioned office and her multi million dollar home eating real nice driving real nice vacationing real nice off of the sweat off of our backs!!!! HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT!!!! KNOWING THAT PEOPLE HARD WORKING PEOPLE WHO WORK LATE HOURS!! NOT SEEING THEIR FAMILIES THEIR CHILDREN GROW UP! MISSING EVENTS THAT THEIR CHILDREN ARE APART OF SPORTA THAT THEY PLAY!!!! Just for you to sit their in your office and DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!! BUT TAKE FROMT HE PEOPLE THE UNION WORKERS WHO SHOW UP DAILY GIVING IT EVERYTHING THEY GOT!!!! The cost of air conditioning for package car drivers WONT EVEN PUT A DENT IN THE MONEY UPS BRINGS IN ANNUALLY!!!! I bet maybe the cost of their next big big boss lunch or formal dinner!


    That’s awesome to hear. I’m so glad that they will be able to stay hydrated and not overheated now why don’t we work on getting air conditioning in the warehouses and sanitize the warehouses the dust and the debris that warehouse workers breathe in daily is harmful and can cause serious illness and maybe even death breathing in dust rest germs that have been left there for gosh months if not years speaking of San Jose warehouse location 1999 S. 7th St. they can’t even keep the bay doors open so that we can breathe in there!!

Comments are closed.

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.