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UPS Inc. is joining the seven-day-a-week delivery business, announcing July 23 that beginning Jan. 1, 2020, the Atlanta-based shipping giant will add Sunday nationwide ground service.
“We will leverage the combination of the UPS Network, UPS Access Point locations and SurePost in collaboration with the United States Postal Service to efficiently provide these exciting new capabilities,” UPS Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Warren said in a statement. “Building on an expanded relationship with the Postal Service to help deliver seven-day service to our customers makes good business sense.”
The announcement came a day before UPS reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings.
The decision to add Sunday service by UPS is not a surprise. In its latest contract with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the two sides negotiated language that would allow UPS to expand its delivery options.
This comes as more consumers are demanding the additional day as e-commerce shopping takes a bigger slice of the retail market. UPS said it also would increase its weekend services by dispatching more drivers on Saturdays. FedEx announced its plans in May to expand its service to seven days.
Both UPS and FedEx are under pressure to increase the speed of their deliveries as Amazon.com becomes more of a direct competitor by adding an overnight cargo airline and a ground-delivery network.
UPS last year began regular Saturday delivery service, and the new five-year contract with the estimated 255,000 members of the IBT brings labor stability to the company. The agreement took effect April 29.
UPS also announced it is expanding its popular UPS Access Point network, adding up to 12,000 additional locations in the coming months. It is partnering with CVS Pharmacy, Michaels and Advance Auto Parts stores, with initial store pilot efforts already underway.
UPS said with this expansion, more than 90% of U.S. people will have a UPS Access Point location within 5 miles of home, and more than 60 million consumers use My Choice throughout the world now.
“We remain the e-commerce shipper of choice, providing unmatched support to meet our customers’ needs for premium, quick delivery solutions,” Chief Sales and Solutions Officer Kate Gutmann said. “These partnerships and platforms provide a win-win for our customers and UPS. Our customers gain convenience and control, and UPS attains further geographic reach and greater densities.”
UPS says it is also getting into the drone business. It has filed an application with the FAA for approved flight operations beyond line of sight, at night, and with an unlimited number of drones and operators in command.
UPS ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.