United Parcel Service; or UPS; is the world's largest package delivery company. UPS delivers more than 14 million packages a day to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Founded in 1907, it is headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, USA.UPS employs approximately 407,200 employees, with 348,400 in the U.S. and 58,800 internationally. Between the foreign and domestic UPS employees, 215,000 are represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
In the United States, UPS has recently expanded its operations to include logistics and other transportation-related areas. UPS is well known for its brown trucks, internally known as "package cars". The use of the term "package car" is mainly used to decrease insurance expenses. The brown color that is used on its vehicles and uniforms is called UPS Brown. This color was chosen because it was used on Pullman railroad sleeper cars, and was perceived as professional and elegant. UPS has trademarked the color brown, which prevents any other delivery companies from using it as part of their brand.
Major competitors include United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, and DHL. For 93 years, UPS only faced competition from USPS for the inexpensive ground-based delivery market. However, in 2000 FedEx expanded into the ground market by acquiring RPS (originally Roadway Package System) and rebranding it as FedEx Ground. In 2003 DHL acquired Airborne Express. This increased DHL's presence in the United States, which adds more competition to the ground delivery market.
One hundred years ago, UPS started as the American Messenger Company. Before the trucks; and the patent brown; there were just two men running a very small business out of a basement office in downtown Seattle. At first the American Messenger Company responded to telephone calls received at their basement headquarters for tasks such as errands and package delivery. They often carried notes, baggage, and trays of food from restaurants. Most deliveries were made on foot, or bicycles for longer trips. Automobiles were not yet a common commodity at that time, and department stores still used horses and wagons for merchandise delivery. It would also be six years before the United States Parcel Post system would be established. A few years later, when UPS acquired trucks, they painted each one a different color, so that everyone would know that there was more than one.
UPS is now celebrating its 100th anniversary, and has only been advertising nationally since the early 1980s. The Brown of today was built through the strength of vision, a strong sense of service, and responsibility. Jim Casey found UPS in August of 1907. Mr. Casey understood from the very beginning that with all things being equal, it would be the people's perception that would make or break you. Jim Casey was UPS's first and the longest-serving Chairman and CEO, of which he was one of the four original founders of UPS. In 1907, Mr. Casey borrowed $100 to start the American Messenger Company. Early placards for the American Messenger Company were a simple affair: the company's name, a phone number, and a slogan: "best service, lowest rates".
Mr. Casey was aware of the effect appearance had on the business. He was also aware that quality, and customers' perceptions of quality, could be the one thing that UPS had to offer that other companies did not. With that in mind, he understood that quality meant different things to different people. He was open to customers' own interpretations of what factors were most important to them, such as such as schedule, courtesy, or cleanliness.
As automobiles were becoming more accessible to the everyday individual, the messenger business was steadily declining. The young company decided to focus on package delivery for retail stores, and also began to use motorcycles for some small business deliveries. For about two years, the company's largest client was the United States Post Office, for...
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