Today’s Pickup: UPS hints at using personal vehicles for package delivery

Good day,

The negotiations between the Teamsters and UPS on a new contract are sure to include many twists and turns along the way. The Teamsters fired the first shot with several demands, including that UPS not use drones for deliveries. That demand, though, was not in the official contract proposal provided to UPS, according to Logistics Management’s John Schulz. Instead, a tamer request to prevent job elimination due to technology was included.  

Schulz is now reporting that UPS is asking for inclusion of a provision that would allow the use of personal vehicles for package deliveries. Along with that, UPS is hoping to expand its Surepost service, which utilizes the U.S. Postal Service for final mile delivery to reduce delivery costs. The Teamsters fear expansion of this program would lead to job losses.

According to the report, UPS also wants to also designate up to 20% of routes as residential, allowing it to pay drivers along those routes lower rates, and it hopes to add Sunday delivery by using part-time drivers for ground delivery using their own vehicles.

“The company’s outrageous and insulting demands show they are not getting the message. Members are not taking givebacks again,” said Fred Zuckerman, the leader of Teamsters United who represents more than 10,000 UPS Teamsters in Louisville Local 89.

However, the Teamsters did report that progress has been made on several non-economic provisions of the contract.

Reports have indicated the Teamsters are seeking the creation of 10,000 new full-time jobs, elimination of late-night deliveries, improved job security and raises.

The current five-year contract expires July 31.

Did you know?

According to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey, U.S. consumers expect wages to increase 2.73% this year while 39% say they are better off this year than last year.


“I’ve been hearing consistently from motor carriers that this is the best January they’ve ever seen. This has already been the third longest economic expansion in U.S. history and by spring it will be the second longest. Usually by this point [in an economic expansion] we’re starting to slow down. Instead we have the opposite happening.”

– Bob Costello, ATA chief economist, speaking at the NATSO Connect conference

In other news:

EU cracks down on rate fixing

The European Union is again cracking down on shipping firms, this time hitting several companies with fines for fixing the prices of shipping cars. (Reuters)

ATA chief economist continues touting rosy outlook

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says the economic outlook continues to remain positive with few signs of slowing. (American Trucker)

Impact of Amazon shipping service on 3PLs uncertain

The news that Amazon could be building a shipping service to rival UPS and FedEx is a mixed bag for 3PLs, many of whom currently handle Amazon freight. (Supply Chain Dive)

U.S. Xpress offers $50,000 bonuses for team drivers

U.S. Xpress is offering $50,000 in bonuses and up to four weeks of paid vacation for team drivers in its new TeamMax program. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

Employees expecting big raises in 2018

A new survey says that U.S. consumers expect their earnings to rise faster this year than in previous years. (Bloomberg)

Final Thoughts

A survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that most consumers are expecting raises approaching 3% this year. That is likely an outgrowth of the booming economy as well as the new tax plan, which can be good news for the economy, but it also could be setting up companies with unhappy employees if they don’t deliver on that expectation. In trucking, driver wages have been rising, and with capacity as tight as it is and drivers in hot demand, they should continue going up.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.