Navigating Package Delivery Amidst the UPS Strike

by | Jul 18, 2023 | Blog, Delivery Network

The impending UPS strike has created a wave of concern among businesses and consumers alike. Negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters Union have reached an impasse, leading to growing tensions and a looming strike. Approximately 340,000 UPS workers are demanding higher pay, the elimination of a two-tier wage system, and improvements in working conditions. Their demands also include increased safety measures and protection against managerial harassment. With a strike of this magnitude, the U.S. delivery system faces significant disarray.

Understanding the underlying reasons for the UPS strike is a top priority for businesses needing to make informed decisions. By proactively exploring alternative delivery networks and diversifying their shipping strategies, businesses can minimize the impact of the potential strike on their bottom line and future-proof their operations.

Don’t let the UPS strike cost your company. Take control of your supply chain and ensure the successful fulfillment of all your orders.

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Why UPS is Going on Strike

A potential UPS strike, similar to the one in 1997, could have far-reaching consequences for businesses and consumers according to Nerdwallet. Slower deliveries, higher prices, and disruptions in the supply chain are just a few of the potential outcomes if the strike becomes a reality. Understanding why UPS workers are considering a strike is crucial for businesses to navigate this challenging situation effectively.

Impact of a UPS Strike

To grasp the implications of a UPS strike, consider the following:

  1. Delayed Deliveries: If a strike occurs, according to USA Today, consumers can expect longer delivery times, especially in rural areas and for smaller retailers heavily reliant on UPS.
  2. Recent Increased Reliance on UPS: The growth of eCommerce and the increased reliance on UPS make a strike in 2023 potentially more impactful than in 1997. The surge in online shopping has significantly increased the volume of packages handled by UPS, amplifying the potential consequences of a strike.
  3. Supply Chain Disruptions: Industries such as motor vehicles, healthcare, farming, and construction that rely on UPS for their shipments may experience supply chain disruptions. The delay or halt in deliveries can have severe implications for businesses across these sectors. With companies still grappling to get their supply chain in order after the pandemic, this could set them back again.
  4. Rising Shipping Costs: As alternative carriers may face overwhelming demand during a strike, shipping costs may rise. Customers may need to consider higher-priced alternatives or pay for expedited shipping to meet their needs during this period.

Mitigating the Impact

To minimize the impact of a potential UPS strike as a consumer, consider the following strategies:

  • Shop Online Now: If you rely on UPS for shipping, consider shopping online now to secure your orders before the potential strike. Acting proactively can help avoid delays caused by a strike.
  • Buy in Batches: Shopping in larger batches can help reduce the frequency of shipments and minimize the impact of potential delays.
  • Diversify Your Suppliers: Consider buying from companies that don’t heavily rely on UPS for their shipping. This diversification can help reduce wait times and ensure smoother delivery during a strike.
  • Explore In-person Shopping and Pick-up Options: Opting for in-person shopping or choosing pick-up options can be viable alternatives to avoid delayed deliveries, especially during the summer months when prompt service is crucial.

By understanding the reasons behind the potential UPS strike and implementing these strategies, businesses, and consumers can proactively navigate the challenges that may arise. Explore alternative delivery networks, plan ahead, and ensure the seamless fulfillment of your orders.

Potential Consequences of a Strike

Graphic highlighting the multiple costs of a UPS Strike

With negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters Union stalling, the likelihood of a UPS strike in 2023 increases. This looming strike could have significant ramifications for businesses and consumers across the nation. Understanding the magnitude of the potential consequences can help stakeholders prepare and navigate the challenges that may arise.

How Much Money Would Be Lost?

A 10-day strike at United Parcel Service (UPS) could have devastating financial implications according to CNN. According to a think tank specializing in the economic impact of labor actions, the strike could cost the economy over $7 billion, making it one of the costliest work stoppages in at least a century. The losses would be distributed across various parties:

  • UPS itself could face $816 million in direct losses.
  • The 340,000 Teamsters, the union representing UPS workers, would lose an estimated $1.1 billion in wages.
  • UPS customers, including businesses relying on the delivery service, could suffer losses exceeding $4 billion.

The strike could result in UPS losing 30% of its diverted volume, equivalent to over 4 million parcels per day. Such a disruption would have a significant impact on the package delivery industry and consumers nationwide.

These staggering numbers highlight the potential magnitude of the financial losses associated with a UPS strike.

How Long Would It Last?

The duration of a UPS strike is uncertain and would depend on the progress of negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters Union. While UPS is making efforts to keep major customers informed about the negotiations and retain their business, the situation remains unresolved. The strike could begin as early as August if an agreement is not reached by the July 31 deadline.

How Many Businesses Would Be Impacted?

A UPS strike would have a widespread impact on businesses that rely on parcel carriers for their operations. UPS currently holds a significant market share of the parcel delivery industry, with 37% in 2021. While competitors like FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service, and Amazon Logistics may absorb some of UPS’s volume in the event of a strike, analysts believe that they wouldn’t be able to handle all the package volume generated by a UPS work stoppage according to NPR.

Industries reliant on parcel carriers, such as hospitals with medical device shipments, could experience disruptions in their supply chains. While the current situation allows for some extra capacity due to the pandemic-era spike in demand for parcel carriers in 2021, a UPS strike would still cause package delays for consumers and potentially disrupt various sectors.

Preparing for the potential consequences of a UPS strike is crucial for businesses. Exploring alternative delivery options, diversifying shipping strategies, and staying informed about the progress of negotiations can help mitigate the impact.

How to Make Deliveries During the Strike

With the potential of a UPS strike, businesses must find alternative ways to ensure the smooth delivery of their orders. One powerful solution is leveraging the Elite EXTRA Delivery Network, which connects you to a number of the nation’s top third party fleets like DoorDash, Uber, Roadie and more. This means you’ll have millions of drivers at your fingertips to complete deliveries on demand. With a range of delivery options and the ability to compare costs and times in real time, the Elite EXTRA Delivery Network offers a reliable and efficient alternative to UPS whether or not a strike happens.

Streamlining Delivery Operations with Elite EXTRA

  1. More Delivery Options: The Elite EXTRA Delivery Network provides access to numerous integrated third-party fleets, connecting you to millions of drivers across the country. This vast network allows you to choose the best delivery option for each order, ensuring efficient and timely deliveries.
  2. Flexible Delivery: Within the Delivery Network, you can compare delivery costs and times of various third-party delivery options in real time. This flexibility enables you to optimize your delivery strategy and meet your customers’ expectations.
  3. Happier Customers: By leveraging the Elite EXTRA Delivery Network, you can wow your customers with fast delivery, regardless of the status of your internal fleet. This seamless delivery experience leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty even in challenging times.

The Benefits of Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network:

  • Business Success: Elite EXTRA has been streamlining logistics operations for over 325,000 users since 2008. Their proven track record in the industry demonstrates their expertise and reliability.
Customer testimonial image for Delivery Network
  • Financial Impact: Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network can have a significant positive impact on your business’s bottom line. As Ruben Ramirez, District Manager of a major automotive parts retailer in Phoenix, states, “We added $11,000 in additional revenue last month from one customer alone using Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network.” This testimonial showcases the revenue-generating potential of this dynamic delivery solution.
  • Future-Ready: The future of delivery is here, and the Elite EXTRA Delivery Network is at the forefront. By integrating third-party delivery providers within the network, including crowdsourced fleets like DoorDash and Uber, as well as regional and local courier fleets, Elite EXTRA offers a comprehensive and forward-thinking delivery solution.

Leveraging the Elite EXTRA Delivery Network:

Leveraging the Elite EXTRA Delivery Network offers a range of advantages for businesses seeking reliable and flexible delivery options. By connecting to the network, you can expand your delivery capabilities and access a diverse pool of third-party providers. Comparing delivery costs and times allows you to make data-driven decisions for each shipment, ensuring optimal efficiency.

Better yet, integrating the Delivery Network with Elite EXTRA’s Routing & Dispatch will streamline your process by seamlessly comparing Delivery Network drivers with your own internal fleet and dispatching orders accordingly. Automating the delivery process through the network’s business rules and preferred providers saves time and promotes smooth operations.

In addition, real-time delivery status updates from third-party providers keep your team informed and enable you to provide timely updates to customers. Managing payments and analyzing performance data through the Delivery Network system empowers you to make informed decisions and optimize your delivery operations.

The seamless integration of Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network into your eCommerce platform enables you to offer fast and reliable same-day delivery options, enhancing the customer experience. The fully integrated last-mile ecosystem further elevates your operations, ensuring a comprehensive and streamlined delivery process, even during a potential UPS strike.

Don’t Depend on a Single Provider

The looming UPS strike in 2023 serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with relying solely on a single delivery provider. The potential disruption caused by the strike highlights how your company’s success can be at the mercy of external factors beyond your control. To safeguard your business from future strikes or unforeseen events, it’s essential to expand your options and join a reliable delivery network.

The Risks of Depending on a Single Provider

Relying solely on a single delivery provider, such as UPS, can pose several risks to your business:

  1. Vulnerability to Disruptions: The UPS strike emphasizes the vulnerability of businesses that rely solely on one provider. Events like labor disputes or capacity issues can bring the entire delivery system to a halt, leading to package delays, higher prices, and supply chain disruptions.
  2. Limited Options: Working with a single provider limits your ability to adapt to changing circumstances. If that provider experiences disruptions, your business is left with few alternatives, putting your operations and customer satisfaction at risk.
  3. Little Control. When fully reliant on a single delivery provider, you are very much at the mercy of the costs and service quality that comes with their services. If the company decides to increase their delivery cut or their service starts to lack, you have very little bargaining power to ensure favorable terms for your company.

The Power of a Delivery Network

Joining a reliable delivery network offers numerous advantages for your business:

  • Access to Multiple Carriers: A delivery network connects you to a diverse range of carriers and fleets, ensuring that you have reliable alternatives in case of disruptions. You can leverage the expertise and infrastructure of multiple providers, expanding your options and minimizing dependency on a single entity.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: By diversifying your delivery options, you maintain control over your shipping operations. A delivery network allows you to compare costs, delivery times, and service quality among various carriers, empowering you to make informed decisions that align with your business needs.
  • Mitigating Risks: Joining a delivery network protects your company from future strikes or unforeseen events that may disrupt the delivery system. By collaborating with a network of trusted carriers, you proactively mitigate risks and ensure the timely delivery of your orders.

Steps to Protect Your Business

To safeguard your company’s success, consider the following steps:

  1. Evaluate Your Shipping Strategy: Assess your current reliance on a single provider and identify potential risks associated with disruptions. Recognize the need for a more resilient and adaptable shipping strategy.
  2. Research Reliable Delivery Networks: Explore reputable delivery networks that offer access to multiple carriers. Look for networks with a track record of reliability, expertise, and a robust network of partners.
  3. Compare and Choose: Evaluate the offerings of different delivery networks. Consider factors such as carrier options, integration capabilities, customer support, and cost-effectiveness. Select a network that aligns with your business requirements and growth plans.
  4. Partner and Integrate: Once you’ve chosen a delivery network, establish a partnership and integrate their services into your shipping operations. Take advantage of their expertise and technology to streamline your processes and ensure seamless order fulfillment.

By taking these steps, you actively protect your business from the risks associated with relying on a single provider. Embrace the power of a delivery network to expand your options, enhance flexibility, and secure the success of your company.

Don’t Worry About Delivery Disruptions

Protect your business from the risks of the UPS strike and future disruptions by joining our reliable Delivery Network at Elite EXTRA. With millions of drivers from top providers, such as Uber, DoorDash, and more, our network offers diverse delivery options, real-time comparisons, and seamless integration. Contact our team today to explore how our Delivery Network can safeguard your success and provide the resilience, flexibility, and reliability you need in the face of the UPS strike and beyond.


Mallorie Barabas

Mallorie Barabas


Mallorie is the Marketing Strategist at Elite EXTRA; if you ask her about her job, she will immediately tell you to follow @EliteEXTRA on LinkedIn (that is your cue;) When she isn't at the office, you can catch her teaching aerial yoga, swimming, or just generally enjoying the outdoors.

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