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BusinessNewsTrucking

New York City hit UPS with $23M in parking fines in 2019

FedEx paid the Big Apple $9.8 million in fines as multiple users compete for limited curb space.

Densely populated metropolitan areas like New York City have become ground zero for clashes among cars, bikes and trucks competing for limited parking spaces. For delivery companies, the tight fit means racking up huge parking fines as a cost of doing business.

In 2019, for example, FedEx (FDX) incurred $9.8 million in fines for 146,019 violations, according to the New York City Department of Finance (DOF); UPS (UPS) paid around $23 million for 348,890 violations.

Commercial parking fines incurred in New York City in 2019 totaled about $123 million, meaning the two delivery giants were responsible for about one quarter of the city’s commercial parking fines last year.

The numbers come with a caveat. The parking fine data only captures vehicles with license plates registered with the DOF’s optional Stipulated Fine program, a spokesperson told FreightWaves.

The program allows businesses to waive their right to challenge parking tickets and agree to pay a preset, reduced amount for each offense.

Although many companies that receive a high volume of tickets choose to participate in the program, if a business has a vehicle that received a violation and is not in the program, DOF would have no way of tracking that, according to the spokesperson.

Amazon (AMZN), for example, is not in the program. So there is no available data on the fines the e-giant has accumulated as it ramps up its delivery and logistics operations. 

In other words, it’s likely that UPS’s and FedEx’s fines are actually a smaller proportion of all commercial parking fines in the city than their numbers would indicate.

As eye popping as the UPS and FedEx fine amounts may be, they actually represent declines from 2018, when FedEx paid $14.9 million in parking fines and UPS handed over $33.8 million.

Asked why the fees might have declined, a UPS spokesperson cited the company’s “more than 30 sustainable urban delivery pilot projects around the world, including innovative uses of pedal-assist bikes, including in New York City, and working together with micro-depot solutions in crowded inner-cities.”

Free services like UPS My Choice and the UPS Access Point network that enable consumers to receive deliveries where and when they want also help reduce redelivery attempts.

A FedEx spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the stipulated parking fine program “plays an important role in our ability to serve our customers in New York City, allowing us to better manage the ticketing process while meeting our customers’ pickup and delivery requirements.”

In the statement, the UPS spokesperson also called  out “the scarcity” of commercial vehicle parking, “which often forces deliveries to be made in a way that seemingly conflicts with other road uses, like biking.”

The underlying issue, the statement said, is how cities manage and allocate curb space.

“Simply put, the curb today in most American cities is overwhelmingly devoted to single occupancy personal vehicle parking, which is simply unsustainable and not aligned with most cities’ stated transportation priorities, like shared mobility, active transportation, safety, equity and commercial goods movement,” the UPS spokesperson said.

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Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to lbaker@freightwaves.com.

8 Comments

  1. Avatar Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    Simple . There should be no “public” parking on streets in commercial zones during business hours . Those spaces in front of commercial businesses on the street should be allocated for temporary commercial delivery drops & pick ups with limited time occupation per spot during business hours .

    Local businesses should interact with each other and interact collectively with delivery carriers catering to their needs for commercial drops not to clog up commercial drop & pick up space . Coordination & organization is the solution .

    The city should have parking lots for the public to park their vehicles in cities and commercial zones , especially during business hours .

    Cities are a cash grab . Rather than structuring their commercial zones for commercial efficiency , they rather put parking meters on city streets in commercial zones . Some have signs that allocate ,ie: 15 minutes in limited spots reserved for commercial deliveries only .

    Why would they change their system ? Look at all the revenue they’re generating through their poorly structured system !

    IMHO

  2. UPS should respond by delivering packages to a localized regional location and require the addressed customer to retrieve them from those centralized locations. The inconvenience and outrage will cause the city’s officials to reconsider their anti-delivery policies and tweak them to become more accommodating.

    1. Avatar Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & PROSPER ! IMHO says:

      Quote:

      ” require the addressed customer to retrieve them from those centralized locations.”

      This suggestion contradicts their “shipping & delivery service” and the profits generated based on the fees charged for the service . If you’re going to charge shipping fees , then ship it to its destination , not half way . Customers would choose a competitor offering better service .

      IMHO .

  3. This article does not mention one of the biggest problems with the commercial spaces that exist in Manhattan. Car service and uber drivers sitting in commercial spaces with drivers behind the wheel. They don’t get ticketed or moved on by traffic cops. As a ups driver I frequently get tickets when commercial spots are taken by these guys. You point it out to traffic cops they just shrug!

    1. The buildings were not designed with enough parking for delivery trucks and ambulances. Some cities in Europe do a much better job plus make public transport is so cheap that people use it more. Toronto is getting the same problems but not as a bad. New York City needs better planning of all road transit and building programs.

  4. Tickets to these legitimate companies is just wrong. NYC needs to realize that without these deliveries the merchants couldn’t survive. The city needs to police commercial parking zones to ticket the offenders not companies like UPS and FedX

  5. this is ridiculous. These guys and girls work hard long hours to deliver these packages. Parking is horrible in these cities. It’s not like they fool around. They are in and out of buildings in very little time. Give them a break. Let the city officials do this job for a day or two, maybe they would feel differently.

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