Business Development

Everything You Need To Know About The History Of United Parcel Service!

Published on: May 11, 2024

Last Updated on: May 13, 2024

United Parcel Service History

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You have landed on the right page if you are looking for United Parcel Service history.  

Through this article, I will help you learn about the company and its history. We will explore the company’s innovation and global expansion over the years.

Lastly, we will also learn about the recent developments of the company that have been added to its daily operations.  

UPS helps you send parcels to loved ones who live far away, regardless of the distance. In simple terms, UPS closes the distance, whether you live in Europe or the United States.  

The company can deliver to 80 percent of the planet within 48 hours. So, if you live in a different place, the company will still deliver your parcels or collect them for you.  

So, let’s learn about the history of United Parcel Service and its operation over the years.    

What Is United Parcel Service (UPS)  

What Is United Parcel Service

Before learning about United Parcel Service’s history, let’s learn about the company and how it operate.  

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, United Parcel Service is an American company that helps people to transport parcels and packages. To date, UPS is known as the largest parcel delivery company.  

At present, the company regularly delivers more than 22.3 million packages. Its services are active in 200 different countries. 

The company UPS or United Parcel Delivery engages itself to deliver packages for 1.6 million shipping customers and over 10.2 million delivery customers. 

As per the data of 2023, the total revenue reached $91.0 billion (about $280 per person in the US). 

United Parcel Services prioritizes its customers and always seeks ways to increase customer satisfaction. This people-led company also engages in innovation in its operations.  

They have the potential to leverage innovation and increase efficiency. The company provides services through its delivery network for air, ground, domestic, residential, and commercial use.    

The Segmentation Of UPS Business

The Segmentation Of UPS Business

United Parcel Services, or UPS, offers its clients a variety of products and services under three specific categories.  

  1. US domestic package. UPS offers a full range of ground and package delivery services to its clients, which take place in the local regions.  
  2. The International package delivery. In this process, package delivery activities mostly occur in Europe, Canada, Latin America, the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and the Middle East.  
  3. Supply chain and freight segmentation. UPS offers a great logistics and supply chain, which helps to provide financial, transportation, and distribution services.  

The Early History Of United Parcel Service (UPS) (1907-1925) 

The early history of United Parcel Service (UPS) (1907-1925)

The United Parcel Service’s history traces back to its roots in 1907 when the American Messenger Company was founded. The company started its journey from the Seattle basement. 

American Messenger Company  

At first, the company aimed to provide bicycle messenger services, with a primary focus only on catering to local businesses and other individuals.  

UPS’s First-Ever Delivery Truck  

UPS started its first delivery truck in 1913 to shift its services from bicycles to motor-centric transportation. This motor-centric transportation allowed UPS to expand its delivery services. 

The delivery truck services also helped them to improve their efficiency. The company has been able to expand its overall services geographically.   

The Name Game 

The company changed its name the same year it started offering truck services. It changed its name from Merchants to Parcel Delivery.  

The name change helped them align their business name with the company mission of delivering parcels, not just messages. The shift from Merchants to Parcel delivery helped the company make its commitment look stronger. 

Change Tn Their Brand Color: The Historical Brown Color.

An employee, Charles Soderstrom, introduced the dark brown color for their business. In 1916, brown UPS trucks became recognizable on the streets, and the color became their brand color.  

Seattle To Oakland, California 

In 1919, USP successfully expanded in Oakland, California. This was one of their historic expansions, which helped them secure the growth milestone.  

This expansion has also financially benefited the company, which has grown rapidly.  

United Parcel Service Or UPS  

In 1925, the company finally started its parcel services under the name United Parcel Service. The name change reflected the company’s presence nationwide. 

The name changes to United Parcel Service also reflected their commitment to delivering parcels and providing efficient service across the United States.     

Expansion And Innovation Of United Parcel Service (1925-1953) 

Expansion and Innovation of United Parcel Service (1925-1953)

In this section, I will discuss the history of expansion and innovation of United Parcel Services (UPS). 

 Expansion In 1925 

Founded in 1907, the company expanded for the first time in 1919, entering the Oakland market.  

After a few years, in 1930, United Parcel Service made its first expansion to the East Coast in New York City. This was the first East Coast expansion in United Parcel Service history.  

The company moved its business to the corporate office of 331 East 38th Street from its Los Angeles location.  

📦 Expansion In 1953 

UPS made a steady expansion in 1953. The main aim of this expansion was to deliver common-carrier parcels to the location or pick up goods from anyone else.  

In addition, the company launched UPS Air as part of its express services. Through the air express, the company was to cover major cities on the East and West coasts.  

In Summary, the company has been able to transform its operations from a small beginning to global logistics. This expansion is truly remarkable for the history of United Parcel Service.  

Related Resource: UPS Label Created – What Does It Mean? | Explained

Global Expansion Of United Parcel Service (1975-1999)

Global Expansion Of United Parcel Service (1975-1999) 

From 1975 to 1999, the company made a significant impact on its overall business. 

By 1975, the company USP had become the first delivery service to send packages to almost every house in the US.  

They created unique connections for all the service areas and came up with a unique nickname for UPS: Golden Link.  

In this same year, the company was able to go to Toronto to offer its services abroad. So, basically, they have been able to expand their service to Toronto.   

📦 The Next Day Service  

In 1985, UPS started its Next-Day air service with the aim of reaching every address in the 48 contiguous states, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico.  

In the same year, they started their air service between the US and Europe. This was the first intercontinental air service in United Parcel Service history. 

📦 1988, The Birth Of The UPS Airline  

1988, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved UPS for its aircraft. The company successfully launched its United Parcel services airlines.  

📦 The Big And Beautiful Growth

After successful growth in America and Europe, UPS successfully expanded its services to other regions in 1989. These regions include the Middle East, Pacific Rim, and Africa.  

At present, the company operates in over 220 countries from all around the world. 

📦 A New Home, Green Home

UPS successfully moved its headquarters to Atlanta, where it still operates. The entire construction includes energy efficiency, protection for green, and various replacement programs.  

📦 A Bold Move

UPS, or United Parcel Services, expanded its business in the 1990s. Its vision was to become a global leader in e-commerce. This was one of the biggest steps the company has ever taken in its history. 

This is the same year when they went public for the first time on November 10, 1999.  

Recent Developments Of United Parcel Service

Recent Developments Of United Parcel Service 

In 2001, UPS successfully entered the retail business by acquiring franchises such as Mailboxes, etc. In a span of two years, over 3000 Mailboxes, Etc., from all around the US were changed to The UPS store.  

The company began offering low and direct shipping rates through the stores. 

Saturday Deliveries  

UPS made many successful expansions in a single decade. In 2015, the company included tech-driven freight brokerage Coyote Logistics.  

This acquisition has been successful for UPS, starting with their Saturday ground delivery and pick-up services.  

A New Path 

On June 1, 2020, Carol B. Tomé began her career as the 12th CEO of United Parcel Deliveries.  

She is considered the first-ever female CEO of United Parcel Service history in 113 years since the company was founded.   

Other than this, the company continued to operate and maintained its global presence by serving over 200 countries. Currently, the company has 200 jet crafts under UPS Airlines.  


The entire United Parcel Service history shows its commitment and consistency to business growth. Its technological approaches and strategies have been key to its global expansion.  

Little did they know how things were going to evolve, and one day, they would be able to expand to make a global presence.  

I hope this article has answered your questions about United Parcel Service’s history.  

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Ankita Tripathy

Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.



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