UPS Freight Preparing For Strike – Will Halt Pickups

UPS and the Teamsters Freight National Bargaining Committee concluded their round of discussions last week regarding a new labor contract. UPS feels they made a fair Last, Best, and Final offer, but the union is not endorsing the offer to its members.

Instead, the union is asking members to vote on the new labor contract, which it believes is still not fully addressing the concerns that caused members to vote down an earlier offer.

The voting is scheduled to be concluded by November 11, but if there is no approval of the new contract, the union could call a strike as early as November 12.

READ MORE: UPS Freight Makes Last, Best and Final Contract Offer – But is It Enough?

UPS Freight Not Optimistic

Usually in these situations, company management tries to be optimistic about the ratification of labor contracts. But in this case, it seems even the company expects the worst.

In a memo to shippers, UPS Freight warns its customers that there is no extension of the current union contract in place and that “UPS Freight can only guarantee delivery of ground freight (LTL) shipments through November 8, after which we recommend you seek alternate arrangements.”

UPS Freight also provided a list to its customers of last days for ground freight (LTL) pickup:

• Thursday, November 1 for 5-day shipping commitments
• Friday, November 2 for 4-day shipping commitments
• Monday, November 5 for 3-day shipping commitments
• Tuesday, November 6 for 2-day shipping commitments
• Wednesday, November 7 for 1-day shipping commitments

UPS also said to its freight customers that “If you have a bundled contract, or incentives dependent upon UPS Freight volume, we will ensure the lack of freight volume does not prevent you from receiving the incentives you would have normally received.”

And it reiterated that a potential strike at UPS Freight will not impact UPS parcel operations, “The UPS Small Package National Master Agreement (NMA) has been ratified. You can remain confident UPS is ready to continue to serve our small package customers throughout the holiday season and beyond.”

The impact on small business B2C eCommerce retailers should be very minimal, if any as eCommerce to consumers relies on UPS parcel service and UPS Freight may only be of concern for those that receive inbound palletized shipments to their warehouse.

Trucking Shortage

However, because there is a significant trucking shortage in the U.S., it is possible that distributors and manufacturers shifting LTL shipments to other trucking lines may increase inbound freight costs or delay shipments as those companies will be tasked dealing with the additional freight volume.

This impact may be felt on the entire LTL shipment industry and may also affect recipients who normally don’t receive freight by UPS Freight. It is best to consider this possibility and online retailers should plan accordingly.

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One Comment

  1. I will have worked as a driver for UPS Freight 26 years come March.

    While I will be the first to say that the sub-contracting issue is a BIG deal, myself and my fellow drivers have never had it so good.

    We will be falling on our swords if a no vote takes place. A strike will take place, since a strike authorization vote was passed prior to the start of negotiations.

    We have little to no leverage in this situation, and stand to loose FAR more than we have to gain.

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