- Exporters scheduling a Saturday pickup with UPS for more than 50 international markets will have their orders delivered as soon as Monday, one day faster than in the past, UPS announced Monday.
- "One day makes a big difference when it comes to your international customers deciding to place an order," Nando Cesarone, president of UPS International, said in a statement. He added the enhanced service could help small and medium businesses compete with local e-tailers in their target market.
- Saturday pick-up is available for exporters shipping to 57 markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific with plans to add "more key markets" later this year, UPS said.
The "need for speed" trend gained steam in 2018, with businesses across a wide variety of industries realizing fast fulfillment and delivery were key to remaining competitive and keeping customers happy.
Third party logistics providers (3PLs) doubled down on their own services to help businesses get their orders to customers as quickly as possible.
FedEx said starting this year, it will deliver six days per week year-round. Previously, the company bumped up capacity to six- or seven-day weeks only during peak season.
UPS planned to roll out Saturday deliveries for ground and domestic shipments in several markets. Its latest move adds additional service for businesses exporting to international markets. In the past, international shipments could be picked up on Saturday, but they were not processed until Monday, meaning delivery at the earliest was on Tuesday, a UPS spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive by email.
"The new Saturday export pick-up service will benefit U.S. businesses that want to ship exports six days per week or need a rush on weekend orders," UPS said in its announcement.
The spokesperson said UPS is able to add Saturday pickups "with no additional investment in buildings, vehicles or trucks. What allows us to launch this service are further efficiencies in our leading customs and brokerage services that allow us to get these export packages processed over the weekend."
UPS' expansion of international shipment service also shows it sees potential for growth and opportunity in global business. "With 95 percent of consumers located outside the U.S., there is a vast untapped market that is ripe for new entrants," the company said in its news release.
Some analysts have painted a picture of an increasingly competitive 3PL industry, with players such as USPS and Amazon encroaching on market share from the veterans like UPS and FedEx. UPS has refuted the analyst reports, asserting confidence in its strategies and seeing ample room for continued growth.