United Parcel Service: How It Delivers Packages to the World

United Parcel Service is the world’s largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. It forms the largest holding of 7.6% in IYT.

Ally Schmidt - Author

Jul. 7 2015, Published 12:00 p.m. ET

uploads///UPS revenue by segment


United Parcel Service (UPS) has a strong growth history that goes back more than 100 years. The company has grown to become a world leader in air, ocean, ground, and electronic delivery services in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. It’s the world’s largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services.

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Business segments

UPS provides an array of products and services to its customers through its three main segments.

  • US Domestic Package segment – This segment offers customers a full spectrum of US domestic guaranteed ground and air package transportation services.
  • International Package segment – This segment consists of small package operations in Europe, Asia, Canada, Latin America, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and Africa.
  • Supply Chain & Freight segment – The company’s logistics and supply chain expertise provides transportation, distribution, and international trade and brokerage services, with financial and information services.

Products and services

The following are some of UPS’s prime products and services:

  • freight forwarding – UPS ranks among the largest domestic and international air freight forwarders globally.
  • customs brokerage  UPS provides customs clearance, trade management, and international trade consulting services, making it among the world’s largest customs brokers.
  • distribution services  UPS provides a host of comprehensive distribution services such as storage and order processing, shipment, and other specialized supply chain services using its global network of distribution centers.
  • post sales UPS uses its strong global network to provide post-delivery support services.
  • UPS Mail Innovations  This service provides an efficient, cost-effective method for sending lightweight parcels and flat mail from the United States to global addresses.
  • UPS Freight  This service offers regional, interregional, and long-haul LTL (less than truckload) and truckload services across all US states, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • UPS Capital  This is UPS’s financial services segment, which offers a range of financial services such as export and import financing, risk mitigation offerings, and payment solutions.

UPS forms the largest holding of 7.6% in the iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT). Similar companies included in the ETF are FedEx (FDX), Expeditors International (EXPD), and Con-way (CNW), with 13.14%, 4.19%, and 3.19% holdings, respectively.


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