Over a week ago, I warned readers of the Natural News email newsletter not to use UPS for shipments this Christmas. That warning turned out to be entirely too optimistic: UPS is now in a crisis situation with countless thousands of packages not delivered on time. The company is playing the public relations spin game to try to assuage shippers and customers, but something is very, very wrong at UPS that you’re not being told.
Here at the Natural News store, we ship out thousands of packages every week. Our experience with UPS has been an ongoing nightmare of logistical failures and broken promises. On the receiving side, too, we have had inbound shipments “lost” in the UPS black hole for weeks at a time. For example, one UPS Freight shipment was supposed to arrive at our warehouse on December 12th, but they failed to deliver it for weeks and told me three days ago that they might be able to deliver it today, but only if they could “find our location.” Apparently UPS Freight no longer has the ability to understand what street addresses mean.
On the outbound side, UPS has pulled a number of unethical shenanigans on us from day one. For example, they’re happy to collect insurance from you on all the packages you send out, but if they damage a package and destroy its contents, they will often turn around and say, “You didn’t pack it right” and thereby deny the insurance reimbursement. For the record, we pack everything extremely well, using double-walled corrugated boxes, strong packing tape, etc.
Four weeks ago we rolled out the UPS MI (Mail Innovations) service which promised more affordable international delivery of small packages. This service combines the UPS internal package moving service with the U.S. Postal Service for the final stage of delivery. As a result, there are two different tracking numbers involved in UPS MI deliveries. To this day, UPS has failed to give us any way to link the USPS tracking number with the UPS tracking number so that customers can figure out where their packages are. For nearly four weeks, we’ve been pushing UPS personnel to resolve this tracking number linking situation, and what we are told is, essentially, that they have no time to solve this problem because all the personnel are too busy sorting boxes. (Huh?)
This is yet more evidence that something is critically wrong with the UPS logistics infrastructure. When customer service people who are supposed to solve data integrity problems say they are tied up sorting boxes that are supposed to be handled by totally different personnel in the hubs, that’s a huge red flag that the stuff has hit the fan, so to speak. We have had to suspend the UPS MI delivery option as a result of all this.
“Over capacity” is just the cover story
Personally, I think the “we are over capacity” excuse being circulated by UPS is a cover story. I think the UPS logistics infrastructure is cratering. I’ve seen tracking logs where packages were sent back and forth between California and Texas multiple times. These are critical routing errors that create the very “over capacity” crisis UPS is talking about because it causes the same packages to be carried two or three times over the same roadway. This is a recipe for logistical disaster.
UPS is quick to blame weather events for its logistics breakdowns, but if you look closely at what’s happening, the delays in package delivery far exceed the duration of weather events. A two-day cold weather snap in Texas, for example, should not result in a 7-day delay in packages. The numbers don’t add up. Something has gone wrong inside UPS that’s far worse than the weather or last-minute online retail purchases for Christmas. From my perspective, UPS seems to be falling apart at the seams.
Why shippers are looking at moving away from UPS
Based on what I’m seeing as both a UPS shipper (sending packages) and a UPS customer (receiving packages), I think the UPS information technology infrastructure is wildly outdated and being held together by duct tape and baling wire. I suspect UPS has neglected the necessary level of investment in the IT infrastructure it needs to stay up and running in an efficient manner. As a shipper, we are of course investigating alternatives to UPS because delivering packages via UPS is now looking riskier than ever.
Naturally, any time UPS drops the ball on deliveries, it creates huge blowback for shippers. Everybody gets screamed at, all the way up the line. Right now, Amazon.com must be fuming angry at UPS for screwing up its Prime shipping promises. No wonder the company is currently investigating drone delivery of packages — a method of delivery that would completely bypass UPS.
The bottom line? Through its increasingly worse problems with logistics, UPS is rapidly making itself irrelevant. High-volume shippers are not merely looking at moving to competitors like Fedex; they are looking at ways to cut UPS out of the loop entirely.
And I can’t blame them. I’ve never seen UPS so dysfunctional.
Sources for this article include:
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/043332_UPS_logistics_breakdown.html#ixzz2ogKQf65v
7 thoughts on “Something is REALLY wrong with UPS, and it’s far worse than the media is reporting”
Sounds to me like an angry rant from a disgruntled shipper, so I’m not sure if UPS is falling apart at the seams just yet, but I can confirm that they do screw people who receive damaged packages.
Of course, if naturalnews.com is shipping out “thousands of packages every week”, they would have a better view of the situation, but they’re also more likely to be frustrated by bad service.
UPS lets the FED come in to intentionally DESTROY packages. I know this FIRST HAND. They will go through and steal or destroy up to 500 packages at a location. (Lansing MI is very well documented for this) UPS even hands over brown uniforms to the shiesters so that they are camouflaged while on site. They will stomp and kick packages and open hundreds of packages and steal the valuables inside. The Fed Agents do this, NOT THE UPS PEOPLE. Liberty 1775 is the answer to the problem. MGK/GDW!
Last year, due to the rotten economy, I worked
part time as a driver helper.
He shared with me that UPS is about to change
over to a new GPS system which helps the drivers
to manage their delivery route.
The driver knows his route, but the clip board which
he uses acts as a cheat sheet for directions.
When the change takes total effect, soon, their
entire route will be mapped out for them.
Packages are tied into the GPS system that’s why
they have to scan them.
Drivers scan the package to see how to get
there, and how many are included in that delivery.
They scan upon delivery, to complete the delivery.
Drivers can actually communicate with the hub
by texting with their clip board.
Currently, I am waiting for a package from Arizona.
It should have been here by the 23rd or 24th.
But it’s scheduled for 1 / 2. It’ll most likely be here
on the 30th.
I’m the Shipping/Receiving Coordinator here at work, and I can say beyond a doubt that UPS outperforms FedEx hands-down here in East TN. To be fair, no company can provide 100% customer satisfaction 100% of the time (if they’re honest about it). But I would pick UPS any day of the week.
I was a UPS driver for over 10 years until I was injured on the job and then got into another field due to my injury not allowing me to continue to handle the heavy packages and deliver .
I can tell you for sure many things have been improved since I left the company 12 years ago. Drivers now have new DIADS , those are the electronic tablets that not only scan packages but also send the driver info on the delivery and also communication between the driver and his Center at the hub. This is a vast improvement from when I was a driver.
The bigger problem at UPS is that the level of customer service is gone, this is partially due to the Teamsters Union in my opinion. Many positions at UPS are now considered Combo positions . Sorters who also drive after the sort , drivers who drive Air deliveries in the morning then work in the preload and customer service agents who work the front counter who then either unload or sort after .
The comments you see are correct, UPS is now terrible when it comes to damaged goods, I know this for a fact that I took a musical instrument and paid over 150.00 to have it professionally packaged and shipped UPS only for it to be damaged due to the package being completely mistreated .
The unloaders, preloaders and even the drivers don’t take the same care as they used to. This of course is not everyone but there are newer people who don’t share the same respect as the older employees do.
UPS hires seasonal help for Peak which is the holiday season when inexperienced help not used to the volume don’t take the time or care and throw packages off trucks from 6ft off the ground, roll packages down a mountain of packages in the trailer and yes there is an internal theft issue at UPS as well as I have seen it first hand as a driver delivering packages that are HIGH Value to jewelery stores and so on only to have the package opened up in front of me while delivering to have the package be empty and re sealed. Yes, imagine you are getting a diamond or watch from a vendor and the package has special tape and you are a driver who is in charge of that high value package and you take it to deliver to Ben Bridge or Zales only for the receiver to open the package and find the contents to be missing and the package looks sealed!
Yes it happens and it is an internal problem that has been going on for years at UPS.
Loss prevention does what they can and in most cases it’s the unloaders or the sorters who are commiting the crimes, they are not paid what the full timers are paid and they resort to stealing.
Drivers are also guilty of this as we witnessed once as a driver was stealing gateway computers and taking them to his home.
The list goes on and on.
The true problem at UPS is not so much too much to deliver but it is in the very core of the company and it is it’s people.
And it’s not just UPS, the US Postal service is just as bad if not worse.
It’s the people who make things bad not the business.
The work culture has to change in order for this endemic problem to change.
Companies need to reward employees for their work and employees need to feel a sense of pride for their job and what they are doing.
This is what has been lost on both sides and not just in UPS but in many aspects of the US economy it’s the same story.
While we’re at it, let’s blame the whole 3PL (Third Party Logistics) system.
I get about 9 orders delivered a week. USPS is awesome and less expensive. fed ex is expensive but you can count on it on time(unless you pay for overnight and the weekend gets in the way).
UPS… Our driver is nice but we try not to use them because of the very thing they mention in this article. They will ‘guaranty’ delivery by say 1-1-14. On 1-3-14 it will show up being delivered by the usps. My mail person tells me they drop dozens of pallets(not a big city) off at usps and it takes them a day or two to be able to deliver them along with the normal mail. So ups delivers ‘on time’ but then its the post offices fault its 3 days late. I hate ups.