Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – “Big Brown” Is More than It Appears

I must admit that I’ve gained a whole new respect for an organization that we, as customers, may be guilty of having taken for granted. It’s UPS—the United Parcel Service. When we hear the name, most of us think of big brown trucks in traffic, three simple letters, and package delivery. It’s really so much more than that. I doubt that many of us associate UPS with terms such as creativity, logistics, technology, technical repair and configuration; supply chain design and planning; international trade management, and customs brokerage. Our bad. There’s a lot we don’t know about this cutting-edge organization. For instance, were you aware of the following facts?

  • UPS is 101 years old.
  • It was founded in Seattle, with world headquarters in Atlanta.
  • UPS has 425,300 employees worldwide (358,000 in the U.S.).
  • 4 billion packages and documents were delivered last year.
  • 15.8 million packages and documents were delivered daily last year.
  • 2.3 million packages and documents are delivered daily by air.
  • 1.9 million international packages and documents are delivered daily.
  • The service area includes more than 200 countries and territories; every address in North America and Europe.
  • 7.9 million customers are served daily (1.8 million pick-up, 6.1 million delivery).
  • There are an average of 18.5 million daily on-line tracking requests at
  • Retail access can be found at: The UPS Store® (4,647 locations), Mail Boxes Etc.® (1,306 locations); 1,000 UPS customers centers, 17,000 authorized outlets, and 40,000 UPS drop boxes.
  • There are 1,801 operating facilities.
  • UPS has a delivery fleet of 93,637 package cars, vans, tractors and motorcycles, including 2,218 alternative-fuel vehicles.
  • UPS has a jet aircraft fleet of 268, the 9th largest airline in the world.
  • It has 311 chartered aircraft.
  • The daily flight segment includes 1,130 domestic and 796 international.
  • UPS serves 424 domestic airports and 389 international airports.
  • UPS air hubs are located in Louisville, Kentucky; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Dallas, Texas; Ontario, Canada; Rockford, Illinois; Columbia, South Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut; Miami, Florida; Cologne/Bonn, Germany; Taipei, Taiwan; Pampanga, Philippines; Hong Kong, Singapore; and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • There are 1,033 facilities in more than 120 countries, occupying 38 million square feet.
  • UPS is the leading provider of less-than-truckload services coast-to-coast with 6,353 tractors; 21,818 trailers, and 215+ service centers.

The next time you see one of those big brown trucks on the road or a bermuda-clad delivery person hustling a package to a customer, you’ll know a little bit more about the organization behind what you see. You might be interested in knowing that this is one of the most creative and innovative businesses in the world. Check out Make the Right Turn to Save Gas and Don’t Underestimate UPS for a few shocking examples.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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