UPDATED November 12, 2018: Following a union vote of “yes” on the recent contract, UPS Freight will officially avoid a strike which would have resulted in significant holiday supply chain interruptions for suppliers.
ORIGINAL STORY November 11, 2018:
At possibly the worst time of the year, as suppliers are gearing up for what is likely their highest annual volume, UPS announced last week that it will stop picking up all shipments from customers and suspend all service beginning November 7, in anticipation of a possible strike.
On October 25th, the latest round of negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters ended with an agreement that will be voted on this week. However, since a strike has already been approved by the union, if the vote on the agreement is “No”, UPS is preparing for the worst.
Though small packages to individual recipients will not be impacted by the potential strike, UPS released the following statement:
“To help you plan to maintain business continuity while we do not have a contract extension, please note that UPS Freight can only guarantee delivery of ground freight (LTL) shipments through November 8, after which we recommend you seek alternate arrangements,”
Suppliers using UPS Freight should be have a backup plan in case the strike is activated. According to UPS, the following timeline will take place:
The last days for ground freight (LTL) pickup will be as follows:
- 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
As if the logistical hurdles that this could cause aren’t enough, it also might have the effect on increased spot prices for shipments. Other carriers are keen to capitalize on the potential drop in supply during a time when demand is at its highest.
If the strike actually happens, it would be the first strike for UPS workers since 1997.
What are your thoughts on the timing of this potential strike? Sound off in the comments section.