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Forewarned is forearmed…

Plan Ahead for Possible UPS Service Interruptions

Copresco knows that it isn’t enough to print and finish your books, manuals, and publications in quick-as-a-wink time frames. We also have to see that your projects are delivered safely and on-time to their final destination.

For this reason, Copresco ships literally tons of packages each day via United Parcel Service (UPS) for reliable, trackable delivery across the United States and Canada.

Usually The Best Choice

For smaller projects (or larger shipments spread over multiple destinations) UPS is often the best choice. To put things in perspective, UPS delivers around 25 million packages a day, or one quarter of all United States parcel volume, according to Pitney Bowes.


The current contract between UPS and its Teamsters Union drivers expires on July 31, and the Teamsters are threatening a nationwide strike. As of this writing, contract negotiations between the two parties appear stalemated, and it is our opinion that there will be a strike.

Now Looming

If a strike still looms the week of July 24 Copresco will begin to implement contingency plans.

Packages with a five day delivery lead time (such as those to West Coast destinations) will be evaluated for alternative shipping methods.

UPS is currently training non-union employees to pick up the slack during a strike, but that option will be able to handle only a fraction of the load.

UPS has assured us that this means packages in transit during a walkout won’t be stranded in the system, but they admit there may be some delay.


UPS has some credibility in claiming that it can continue to operate without the Teamsters since many of its executive positions are staffed by former drivers who have worked their way up.

Nonetheless, if possible it will be best not to have packages “out for delivery” at the time a strike is declared.

Local Delivery

Deliveries within a day’s reach of Copresco’s Carol Stream Illinois plant are often sent via messenger or small truck. This covers just about anywhere in the greater Chicago or Milwaukee metropolitan areas.

That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the cost for very small packages (such as a proof) may be 2-3 times higher than UPS.

One way around this is the use of pdf proofs to review content and digital photos to show bindings. For critical color approvals, you or your client may wish to visit Copresco instead of having the proof sent to you.

Large Shipments

It should be noted that the Teamsters are threatening only UPS. Regular trucking won’t be affected. This means that large Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipments won’t be impacted.

What constitutes a large shipment?Well, many factors come into play: weight, bulk, number of parcels, destination. Many shipments fall into a “gray area” that could economically go either by truck or UPS. These will obviously be shifted to LTL, as will those that cost only slightly more to move by truck.

What About FedEx?

FedEx has been sending mixed messages. While actively urging UPS customers to switch to FedEx, those inside the company admit that FedEx does not have the capability to absorb UPS volume.

Priority will be given to “large” customers while customers that are “small-to-midsize” will be served based on “assessment of network capacity.”

These vague statements do not inspire confidence.

Postal Service

Unlike FedEx, the United States Postal Service has no choice about accepting additional packages.

Jacqueline Strako, chief commerce and business solutions officer at USPS, has publicly stated the agency “absolutely can” handle more workloads as a result of a UPS strike.

To this, we humbly ask, if this is so, why can’t you deliver your current parcel volume in a predictable and reliable manner?

In Conclusion

We at Copresco don’t believe that a “one size fits all” alternative exists. Every shipment will need to be evaluated on its own merits.

“That’s where Copresco’s personalized service comes in,” declares Copresco President Steve Johnson.

“Strike or no strike, we’re committed to finding the most reliable and most economical shipping method best suited to your particular project.”

Let’s Hope

We at Copresco sincerely hope that by the time you receive this newsletter in the mail the strike will have been averted and all will be well.

In times of uncertainty, call the company that understands urgency and commits to delivering your projects on time, every time.
Call Copresco.