The UPS Mess – Are You Prepared for a Strike?

We are likely headed to a Teamsters Union strike against UPS. Negotiations had seemed to be working until Wednesday morning (July 5), when they fell apart, and both sides walked out. If a strike occurs, it will be big, involving 340,000 UPS workers.

A strike will create significant problems for small and mid-size companies that depend on UPS to move their goods from point A to point B. The result is that companies that use UPS are proactively looking for shipping alternatives. They exist, but they are more expensive. Here are some anecdotes from a New York Times article entitled “Looming UPS Strike Spurs Some Companies to Rethink Supply Chains:”

Ryan Culver, the chief executive of Platterful, a monthly charcuterie board subscription service, also uses UPS. Switching over to FedEx Express ,,, would cost about $5 to $10 more per delivery.

Teri Johnson, the founder of Harlem Candle Company, received an email on June 26 from her third-party shipper about a potential UPS strike. It suggested she switch to FedEx. That will cost her about $2 extra for each candle shipped in the greater New York area. Sending her candles to California will cost even more.

Looming UPS Strike Spurs Some Companies to Rethink Supply Chains:” Jordyn HOlman and J. Edward Moreno,New York Times, July 7,2023

The toy industry has spent the last three years dealing with ocean freight challenges. As a result, companies have gotten better at managing supply chain issues. The difference this time is that for good or ill, this time we are facing a domestic problem.

A strike may be avoided. However, smart companies will contact alternative shippers now rather than waiting.

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