UPS History

David Abney
"With nearly 500,000 employees in more than 220 countries, UPS sits at the center of global commerce and everyday life."

"Our customers come first. We're driven by innovation and we succeed through the leadership of our people. We are as diverse as the markets and communities we serve. With nearly 500,000 employees in more than 220 countries, UPS sits at the center of global commerce and everyday life. Our people and services create connections and provide the access, agility, intelligence and reliability our customers need, now and in the future."

— David Abney, CEO

UPS drone in flight.

2019

New technology and innovation

UPS leads the way in new delivery choices, including one of America's first commercial drone deliveries.

The UPS Store

2001

Offering new services

UPS moves into retail by acquiring Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., later re-named The UPS Store. The acquisition of Overnite in 2005 expands UPS’s ground freight services, resulting in the formation of UPS Freight. In 2011 UPS My Choice® tool launches, allowing customers to schedule deliveries based on their preferences.

How UPS.com looked in 1994.

1994

UPS.com launches

UPS goes online with UPS.com. A year later customers can use the website to track packages.

Kent C. 'oz' nelson
"The world is now the UPS community. UPSers around the world reflect the UPS image of quality."

"The world is now the UPS community. UPSers around the world reflect the UPS image of quality. We want to provide a service that is in the public interest, that is safe, that is concerned with the environment. We will continue our legacy as a sensitive, responsible corporate citizen with the highest level of integrity."

—Kent C. "Oz" Nelson, CEO 1989–1991

Exterior view of UPS Supply Chain Solutions.

1992

UPS Supply Chain Solutions

UPS Supply Chain Solutions® provides logistics, global freight, financial, and mail services to enhance customers' business performance and improve their global supply chains.

A UPS vehicle and employee in Taiwan.

1989

Around the world

UPS extends service into Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Today UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories.

UPS Airlines pilots walking near a UPS jet.

1988

UPS Airlines

UPS starts its own airline – the fastest major airline start-up in FAA history. Today, it's one of the largest airlines in the world.

A UPS vehicle and employee in Canada.

1975

Crossing the border

UPS goes abroad for the first time by offering services in Toronto, Canada. Services begin in West Germany the following year.

UPS drivers shake hands, as UPS begins service to the 48th U.S. state.

1975

A vision for growth

UPS achieves a longtime goal by becoming the first package delivery company to serve every address in the 48 continental United States.

George D. Smith
"We are constantly evolving new and improved ways, methods and facilities to better perform our work and service."

"We are constantly evolving new and improved ways, methods and facilities to better perform our work and service. We are constantly making changes to improve and to meet ever-changing conditions. We don’t have good answers for many things. We are evolving and we are learning more each day. There is no dearth of good, creative thinking throughout our organization. As far as results are concerned, we can feel that we have done fairly well, but we should all take heart in knowing there are tremendous opportunities to make improvements."

—George D. Smith, CEO 1962–1972

A UPS employee delivers a package.

1953

Gaining a foothold

UPS begins to make great strides in growing its "common carrier" service. Within a few decades, common carrier rights allow UPS to compete with the U.S. Postal Service and deliver packages between all customers both private and commercial in the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast U.S.

UPS employees and a delivery vehicle at an airport.

1953

Back in the air

UPS re-launches its air service - again using commercial airlines to carry packages. The service would later come to be known as Blue Label Air.

Jim Casey
"… we would have to put into it something that had never been done before."

"… we quickly reached the conclusion that if we were to make a success of the parcel delivery business, we would have to put into it something that had never been done before. So we collected ideas from every source that we could and used the ones we believed would improve our service or otherwise contribute to success."

—Jim Casey, CEO 1907–1962

A UPS employee delivers a package.

1930

Expanding retail delivery

Despite the Depression, UPS begins deliveries and moves its headquarters to New York City. Throughout the next two decades UPS launches retail delivery services in Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia.

UPS employees stand in front of an airplane.

1929

UPS first uses airplanes

UPS briefly offers delivery by air, using private airlines to carry packages long distances. UPS ends the service in 1931.

A UPS employee delivers a package.

1919

Delivering retail packages

The company expands from Seattle to Oakland, California, and was delivering retail packages for department stores, renaming itself United Parcel Service.

UPS co-founders Jim Casey and Claude Ryan in their office.

1907

Launched with a $100 loan

Jim Casey, right, and Claude Ryan start American Messenger Company – which eventually becomes the world's largest package delivery company, UPS.