The UPS Store: We (heart) Logistics

December 3, 2023

The UPS Store is a subsidiary of United Parcel Service which provides shipping, shredding, printing, fax, passport photos, personal and business mailboxes, and notary services.

There are 5,228 UPS stores in the United States

The story actually starts in 1980 with a company called Mail Boxes Etc., which was founded as an alternative to the post office.

In March 2001, UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc., and in February 2003 rebranded more than 3,000 Mail Boxes Etc. locations as The UPS Store.

Let’s go back to the beginning…
In 1907, Seattle teenagers Claude Ryan and Jim Casey got a $100 loan from a friend and set up a small courier service in Seattle, Washington, known as American Messenger Company. They ran the business out of a hotel basement.

When the 1910s rolled around, America Messenger Company bought its first delivery van and packages that had previously been transported on foot or on a bicycle could now be delivered by motor vehicles.

In 1919, Merchants Parcel Delivery branched out to Oakland, California, by acquiring Motor Parcel Delivery Company and started going by the current name the United Parcel Service.  

In 1922, UPS acquired a Los Angeles common carrier service. The takeover of this firm helped UPS expand in the coming decades.

By 1927, UPS had expanded to all the major Pacific Coast cities and by 1930, it had branched out to the East Coast.

In the 1950s, the company began looking for common carrier licenses to pick up and deliver packages all over America. This decision had UPS directly competing with the United States Postal Service.

Each UPS location is independently owned.

UPS eventually moved its head office to California and Atlanta via New York.

In 1962, Jim Casey gave up his day-to-day management and focused more on his foundation, the Annie Casey Foundation, which he and his siblings had launched in 1948 in tribute to their mother.

The foundation’s first grants helped support a camp for underprivileged Seattle children and other child welfare organizations. Jim Casey died in 1983, but his foundation continues to support disadvantaged kids. 

From 1975 to 1990, UPS services expanded into the Pacific Rim, Middle East and Africa. In the 1980s, shipments by air became a major part of its operations.

In 1999, the company’s shares were offered to the public for the first time. 

By 2013, the little courier service that Jim Casey and Claude Ryan started was worth close to $80 billion, with yearly revenue of more than $50 billion.

UPS employs about 500,000 people in 200 countries and delivers more than 3.8 billion parcels per year. All that started with just $100 and two hard-working young men.

 There are about 126,000 UPS trucks across the United States.

Each UPS Store also serves as an access point for UPS shipping where customers can drop off packages with prepaid labels.

Need something printed? Your local UPS Store can do it for you, from brochures, yard signs, menus, manuals and even 3D printing projects.

The UPS Store was ranked fifth overall among the top franchise brands in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 2019 and 2020 lists. The company ranked third on the Franchise 500 list in 2021.

Did you know that UPS trucks almost never turn left? Here’s why…

UPS created software that plans truck routes so that they reduce left-hand turns during deliveries. By avoiding left turns wherever possible, UPS:
— saves 10 million gallons of fuel a year
— reduces each driver’s route by six to eight miles
— reduces 100,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions a year
— provides the equivalent of 21,000 cars taken off the road

Now, that is good corporate citizenship and environmental responsibility!

Gloria Sauvé