SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 001-15451
United Parcel Service, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or Other Jurisdiction of|
Incorporation or Organization)
| ||(I.R.S. Employer|
55 Glenlake Parkway, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30328
(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of Each Class|| Trading Symbol||Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered|
|Class B common stock, par value $.01 per share||UPS||New York Stock Exchange|
|0.375% Senior Notes due 2023||UPS23A||New York Stock Exchange|
|1.625% Senior Notes due 2025||UPS25||New York Stock Exchange|
|1% Senior Notes due 2028||UPS28||New York Stock Exchange|
|1.500% Senior Notes due 2032||UPS32||New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Class A common stock, par value $.01 per share
(Title of Class)
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes ¨ No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (Section 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definitions of “ large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer||x|| |
Accelerated filer ¨
Non-accelerated filer ¨
| ||Smaller reporting company||☐||Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No x
The aggregate market value of the class B common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $78,510,244,191 as of June 30, 2020. The registrant’s class A common stock is not listed on a national securities exchange or traded in an organized over-the-counter market, but each share of the registrant’s class A common stock is convertible into one share of the registrant’s class B common stock.
As of February 5, 2021, there were 147,531,933 outstanding shares of class A common stock and 719,506,596 outstanding shares of class B common stock.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its annual meeting of shareowners scheduled for May 13, 2021 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, INC.
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cautionary Statement About Forward-Looking Statements
This report and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) contain and in the future may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements other than those of current or historical fact, and all statements accompanied by terms such as “will,” “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “estimate,” “assume,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “target,” “plan” and similar terms, are intended to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are made subject to the safe harbor provisions of the federal securities laws pursuant to Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
From time to time, we also include written or oral forward-looking statements in other publicly disclosed materials. Such statements relate to our intent, belief and current expectations about our strategic direction, prospects and future results, and give our current expectations or forecasts of future events; they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. Management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made. However, caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements because such statements speak only as of the date when made.
Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our historical experience and our present expectations or anticipated results. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described in Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report and may also be described from time to time in our future reports filed with the SEC. You should consider the limitations on, and risks associated with, forward-looking statements and not unduly rely on the accuracy of predictions contained in such forward-looking statements. We do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances, changes in expectations or the occurrence of unanticipated events after the date of those statements.
United Parcel Service, Inc. (“UPS”), founded in 1907, is the world’s largest package delivery company and a premier provider of global supply chain management solutions. We offer a broad range of industry-leading products and services through our extensive presence in North America; Europe; the Indian sub-continent, Middle East and Africa (“ISMEA”); Asia Pacific and Latin America. Our services include transportation, distribution, contract logistics, ground freight, ocean freight, air freight, customs brokerage and insurance.
We operate one of the largest airlines in the world, as well as the world’s largest fleet of alternative fuel vehicles. We deliver packages each business day for approximately 1.7 million shipping customers to 11.8 million delivery customers in over 220 countries and territories. In 2020, we delivered an average of 24.7 million packages per day, totaling 6.3 billion during the year. Total revenue in 2020 was $84.6 billion.
Our business sits at the intersection of major economic and societal trends, such as rapid urbanization and e-commerce growth. As we look ahead, we recognize that our customers are changing, our competitors are changing, and the rate of change is accelerating. We are guided by our strategy, Customer First, People Led, Innovation Driven, as we transform nearly every aspect of our business.
Customer First is about reducing the friction of doing business. We seek to help our customers seize new opportunities, compete, and succeed by delivering the capabilities that they tell us matter the most; speed and ease. We believe that our best opportunities are captured in, and we are focusing on, our three strategic growth initiatives: small- and medium-sized businesses (“SMBs”), healthcare and international markets. We seek to grow in these areas by providing the best digital experience powered by our global smart logistics network. We will measure our success in this area through improvements in our net promoter score.
People Led specifically focuses on how likely an employee is to recommend UPS employment to a friend or family member. We know successful outcomes are built from a strong culture, so we are striving to make UPS a great place to work. Through our transformation initiatives, we are creating fewer but more impactful jobs. We are also enhancing the employee value proposition to align with evolving market practices. We will measure our success on this strategic initiative through the employee experience.
Innovation Driven is designed to optimize the volume that flows through our network, to focus on increasing value share and drive business growth from higher-yielding opportunities in our target markets. In the United States, our aim is to improve revenue mix and lower our cost to serve in the U.S. Domestic Package segment. Within the International Package and Supply Chain & Freight segments, our focus is on growing operating profit. We will measure our success on this strategic initiative through our returns on invested capital and operating margins.
Our competitive strengths include:
An Efficient Multimodal Network. We believe that our integrated global air and ground network is the most extensive in the industry. We provide all types of package services (air, ground, domestic, international, commercial and residential) through a single pickup and delivery network. Our sophisticated engineering systems allow us to optimize network efficiency and asset utilization.
Global Presence. We serve more than 220 countries and territories. We have a significant presence in all of the world’s major economies, allowing us to effectively and efficiently operate globally.
Cutting-Edge Technology. We are a global leader in developing technology that helps our customers enhance their shipping and logistics business processes to lower costs, improve service and increase efficiency. We offer a variety of online tools that enable our customers to integrate UPS functionality into their own websites, deepening our customer relationships. These tools allow customers to send, manage and track their shipments, and also to provide their customers with better information services.
A Broad Portfolio of Services. Our portfolio of services helps customers choose their most appropriate delivery option. Increasingly, our customers benefit from UPS business solutions that integrate our services beyond package delivery. For example, supply chain services – such as freight forwarding, truckload brokerage, customs brokerage, order fulfillment and returns management – help improve the efficiency of our customers’ entire supply chain management process.
Customer Relationships. We focus on building and maintaining long-term customer relationships. Providing value-added services beyond package delivery, and cross-selling small package and supply chain services across our customer base, are important retention tools and growth mechanisms for us.
Brand Equity. We have built a leading and trusted brand that stands for quality, reliability and service innovation. Our vehicles and the professional courtesy of our drivers are major contributors to our brand equity.
Distinctive Culture. We believe that the dedication of our employees comes in large part from our distinctive “employee-owner” culture. Our founders believed that employee stock ownership was a vital foundation for successful business, and the employee stock ownership tradition dates back to our first stock ownership program in 1927.
Financial Strength. Our financial strength allows us to generate value for our shareowners by investing in technology, transportation equipment, facilities and employee development; pursuing strategic opportunities that facilitate our growth and maintaining a strong credit rating that gives us flexibility in running the business.
Products and Services; Reporting Segments
We have three reporting segments: U.S. Domestic Package, International Package and Supply Chain & Freight. U.S. Domestic Package and International Package are together referred to as our global small package operations.
Global Small Package
Our global small package operations provide time-definite delivery services for express letters, documents, packages and palletized freight via air and ground services. These services are supported by numerous shipping, visibility and billing technologies. For example, our Digital Access Program makes it easier for SMBs to use our services by embedding our shipping solutions directly into leading e-commerce platforms.
All services (air, ground, domestic, international, commercial and residential) are managed through a single, global smart logistics network. We combine all packages within our network, unless dictated by specific service commitments. This enables us to efficiently pick up customers’ shipments for any services at a scheduled time each day. Our integrated network provides unique operational and capital efficiencies that have a lower environmental impact than single service network designs.
We offer same-day pickup of air and ground packages seven days a week. Our global network offers approximately 150,000 entry points where customers can tender packages to us at locations and times convenient to them. This includes UPS drivers who can accept packages, UPS drop boxes, UPS Access Point locations, The UPS Store locations, authorized shipping outlets and commercial counters, alliance locations and customer centers attached to UPS facilities. Our UPS Access Point network includes local small businesses, national retailers and self-serve lockers. This network allows consumers to ship or redirect packages to an alternate delivery location or to drop off pre-labeled packages, including returns. We have expanded the UPS Access Point network to approximately 21,000 locations within the U.S. and 40,000 globally.
We offer a portfolio of returns services in more than 140 countries. These services are driven by the continued growth of online and mobile shopping that has increased our customers’ need for efficient and reliable returns, and is designed to promote efficiency and a friction-free consumer experience. This portfolio provides a range of cost-effective label and digital returns options and a broad network of consumer drop points. We also offer a selection of returns technologies, such as UPS Returns Manager, that promote systems integration, increase customer ease of use and visibility of inbound merchandise. These technologies help reduce costs and improve efficiency in our customers' reverse logistics processes.
Our global air operations are based in Louisville, Kentucky, and are supported by air hubs across the United States and internationally. We operate international air hubs in Germany, China, Hong Kong, Canada and Florida (for Latin America and the Caribbean). This network design enables cost-effective package processing in our most technology-enabled facilities, which allows us to use fewer, larger and more fuel-efficient aircraft.
U.S. Domestic Package
We are a leader in time-definite, guaranteed small package delivery services in the United States. We offer a full spectrum of U.S. domestic guaranteed air and ground package transportation services. Our U.S. ground fleet serves all business and residential zip codes in the contiguous United States.
•Our air portfolio offers time specific, same day, next day, two day and three day delivery alternatives.
•Our ground network enables customers to ship using our day-definite guaranteed ground service. We deliver more ground packages in the U.S. than any other carrier, with average daily package volume of more than 17 million, most within one to three business days.
•UPS SurePost provides residential ground service for customers with non-urgent, lightweight residential shipments. UPS SurePost combines the consistency and reliability of the UPS ground network, with final delivery often provided by the U.S. Postal Service.
During 2020, as a component of our strategic initiatives focused on SMBs and to increase speed and ease for our customers, we successfully completed our weekend expansion, enabling broader market coverage. We are the only carrier that provides both commercial and residential pickup and delivery services on Saturdays as a general service offering. We also improved ground transit times between millions of zip codes in the most populous U.S. markets and expanded our Digital Access Program by connecting UPS directly to more e-commerce platforms, improving access to our network.
International Package consists of our small package operations in Europe, Asia Pacific, Canada, Latin America and ISMEA. We offer a wide selection of guaranteed day- and time-definite international shipping services, including more guaranteed time-definite express options than any other carrier.
For international package shipments that do not require express services, UPS Worldwide Expedited offers a reliable, deferred, guaranteed day-definite service option. For cross-border ground package delivery, we offer UPS Standard delivery services within Europe, between the U.S. and Canada, and between the U.S. and Mexico. UPS Worldwide Express Freight is a premium international service for urgent, palletized shipments over 150 pounds.
Europe is our largest region outside of the U.S. and, in 2020, accounted for approximately half of our international package segment revenue. We continue to make major European infrastructure investments to meet growing demand for our services and to improve transit times across the region. Customers can now reach more than 80% of Europe's population within two business days using UPS Standard.
We serve more than 40 Asia Pacific countries and territories through more than two dozen alliances with local delivery companies that supplement our owned operations.
International high growth markets are one of our strategic imperatives. Since 2017, we have doubled our air capacity to Dubai. The introduction of a direct flight from the U.S. has improved time-in-transit to key destinations in ISMEA for shippers throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America. In India, we are investing in our network to improve transit times and extend pickup times, allowing businesses to gain faster access to markets in Europe and the United States.
Supply Chain & Freight
Supply Chain & Freight consists of our forwarding, truckload brokerage, logistics and distribution, UPS Freight, UPS Capital and other businesses. Supply chain complexity creates demand for a global service offering that incorporates transportation, distribution and international trade and brokerage services, with complementary financial and information services. Many companies see value in outsourcing non-core logistics activity. With increased competition and growth opportunities in new markets, businesses require flexible and responsive supply chains to support their strategies. We meet this demand by offering a broad array of supply chain services in more than 200 countries and territories.
We are one of the largest U.S. domestic air freight carriers and among the top air freight forwarders globally. We offer a portfolio of guaranteed and non-guaranteed global air freight services. Additionally, as one of the world’s leading non-vessel operating common carriers, we provide ocean freight full-container load, less-than-container load and multimodal transportation services between most major ports around the world.
We provide truckload brokerage services in the U.S. and Europe through our Coyote-branded subsidiaries. Access to the UPS fleet, combined with a broad third-party carrier network, creates customized capacity solutions for all markets and customers. Coyote customers can also access UPS services such as air freight, customs brokerage and global freight forwarding.
Logistics & Distribution
Our Logistics & Distribution business provides value-added fulfillment and transportation management services. We leverage a network of more than 1,000 facilities in over 100 countries to ensure products and parts are in the right place at the right time. We operate both multi-client and dedicated facilities across our network, many of which are strategically located near UPS air and ground transportation hubs to support rapid delivery to consumer and business markets.
Each of our U.S. distribution centers can be designated as a Foreign Trade Zone ("FTZ"), allowing businesses the opportunity to defer or reduce tariff burdens on imported and exported goods. We also have multiple FTZ-compliant facilities in Europe and Asia.
Healthcare logistics is one of our strategic growth initiatives. UPS Healthcare offers world-class technology, deep expertise and the most sophisticated suite of services in the industry. With a strategic focus on serving the unique, priority-handling needs of healthcare and life sciences customers, we have increased our cold-chain logistics capabilities to support the rapid deployment of COVID-19 vaccines both in the U.S. and internationally. During 2020, we added nearly 2.6 million square feet of capacity and now have approximately ten million square feet of healthcare-licensed warehousing in 82 facilities across fifteen countries. These facilities are climate controlled and offer validated coolers and freezers for products requiring strict temperature-controlled environments.
UPS Freight offers regional, inter-regional and long-haul less-than-truckload ("LTL") services in all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Mexico. UPS Freight also provides dedicated contract carriage truckload services. User-friendly shipping, visibility and billing technology offerings, including UPS WorldShip, Quantum View and UPS Billing Center, allow customers to create electronic bills of lading, monitor shipment progress and reconcile shipping charges.
On January 24, 2021, we entered into a definitive agreement to divest our UPS Freight business. This will allow us to be even more focused on the core parts of our business that drive the greatest value for our shareholders. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close during the second quarter of 2021. For additional information, see note 4 to the audited, consolidated financial statements.
We are among the world’s largest customs brokers, as measured by both the number of shipments processed annually and by the number of dedicated brokerage employees worldwide. In addition to customs clearance services, we provide product classification, trade management, duty drawback and consulting services.
UPS Capital offers integrated supply chain insurance solutions for in-transit goods to both small and large businesses. Supply chain protection services are available in 19 countries and territories. UPS Capital also offers insured transportation of high value goods.
Our success is dependent upon our people, working together with a common purpose. We have approximately 543,000 employees (excluding temporary seasonal employees), of which 458,000 are in the U.S. and 85,000 are located internationally. Our global workforce includes approximately 93,000 management employees (43% of whom are part-time) and 450,000 hourly employees (51% of whom are part-time). More than three-quarters of our U.S. employees are represented by unions, primarily those employees handling or transporting packages. In addition, approximately 3,000 of our pilots are represented by the Independent Pilots Association.
We believe that UPS employees are among the most motivated, highest-performing people in the industry and provide us with a meaningful competitive advantage. To assist with employee recruitment and retention, we continue to review the competitiveness of our employee value proposition, including benefits and pay, the range of continuous training, talent development and promotional opportunities. For additional information on the importance of our human capital efforts, see "Risk Factors - Business and Operating Risks - Failure to attract or retain qualified employees could materially adversely affect us".
Oversight and management
We believe in creating an inclusive and equitable environment that represents a broad spectrum of backgrounds, cultures and stakeholders. By leveraging diversity with respect to gender, age, ethnicity, skills and other factors, and creating inclusive environments, we can improve organizational effectiveness, cultivate innovation and drive growth.
Our Board of Directors and Board committees provide oversight on human capital matters through a variety of methods and processes. These include regular updates and discussion around human capital transformation efforts, technology initiatives impacting the workforce, health and safety matters, employee survey results related to culture and other matters, hiring and retention, employee demographics, labor relations and contract negotiations, compensation and benefits, succession planning and employee training initiatives. We believe the Board’s oversight of these matters helps identify and mitigate exposure to labor and human capital management risks, and is part of the broader framework that guides how we attract, retain and develop a workforce that aligns with our values and strategies.
In addition, in 2020 we created the role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, a new position on the company's Executive Leadership Team, reporting directly to our Chief Executive Officer. The creation of this role is a significant step forward for UPS to further develop a more inclusive and equitable environment.
As we expand and enter new markets, and seek to capture new opportunities and pursue growth, we need employees to grow and innovate along with us. We believe that transforming the UPS employee experience is foundational to our success. This requires a thoughtful balance between the culture we have cultivated over the years and new approaches to lead our business into the future.
We are investing in capabilities that will transform our business, including investments in employee opportunities to support growth. We are providing further training for 40,000 management employees on professionalism and performance as well as unconscious bias and diversity and inclusion to ensure our actions match our values.
Additional information on our human capital efforts is contained in our annual sustainability report, which describes our activities that support our commitment to acting responsibly and contributing to society. This report is available at www.sustainability.ups.com.
We bargain in good faith with the unions that represent our employees. We frequently engage union leaders at the national level and at local chapters throughout the United States. We participate in works councils and associations outside the U.S., which allows us to respond to emerging regional issues. This work helps our operations to build and maintain productive relationships with our employees. For additional information regarding employees employed under collective bargaining agreements, see note 7 to the audited, consolidated financial statements.
Employee health and safety
We are committed to industry-leading employee health, safety and wellness programs across our growing workforce. We develop a culture of health and safety by:
•investing in safety training and audits;
•promoting wellness practices which mitigate risk; and
•offering benefits designed to keep employees safe in the workplace and beyond.
Our local health and safety committees coach employees on UPS’s safety processes and are able to share best practices across work groups. Our safety methods and procedures are increasingly focused on the variables associated with residential delivery environments, which have become more common with the growth in e-commerce. We monitor our performance in this area through various measurable targets including lost time injury frequency and the number of recorded auto accidents.
Building and maintaining long-term customer relationships is a competitive strength of UPS. In 2020, we served 1.7 million shipping customers and more than 11.8 million delivery customers daily. For the year ended December 31, 2020, one customer, Amazon.com, Inc. and its affiliates, represented approximately 13.3% of our consolidated revenues, substantially all of which was within our U.S. Domestic Package segment. For additional information on our customers, see “Risk Factors - Business and Operating Risks - Changes in our relationships with any of our significant customers, including the loss or reduction in business from one or more of them, could have a material adverse effect on us” and note 14 to the audited, consolidated financial statements.
We offer a broad array of transportation and logistics services and compete with many local, regional, national and international logistics providers as well as national postal services. We believe our strategy, network and competitive strengths position us well to compete in the marketplace. For additional information on our competitive environment, see "Risk Factors - Business and Operating Risks - Our industry is rapidly evolving. We expect to continue to face significant competition, which could materially adversely affect us".
We are subject to numerous laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate. Continued compliance with increasingly stringent laws, regulations and policies in the U.S. and in the other countries in which we operate may result in materially increased costs, or we could be subject to substantial fines or possible revocation of our authority to conduct our operations.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”), the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, through the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”), have primary regulatory authority over our air transportation services.
The DOT’s authority primarily relates to economic aspects of air transportation, such as operations, authority, insurance requirements, pricing, non-competitive practices, interlocking relations and cooperative agreements. The DOT also regulates international routes, fares, rates and practices and is authorized to investigate and take action against discriminatory treatment of U.S. air carriers abroad. International operating rights for U.S. airlines are usually subject to bilateral agreements between the U.S. and foreign governments or, in the absence of such agreements, by principles of reciprocity. We are also subject to current and potential aviation regulations imposed by governments in other countries in which we operate, including registration and license requirements and security regulations. We have international route operating rights granted by the DOT and we may apply for additional authorities when those operating rights are available and are required for the efficient operation of our international network. The efficiency and flexibility of our international air transportation network is subject to DOT and foreign government regulations and operating restrictions.
The FAA’s authority primarily relates to safety aspects of air transportation, including certification, aircraft operating procedures, transportation of hazardous materials, record keeping standards and maintenance activities and personnel. In addition, we are subject to non-U.S. government regulation of aviation rights involving non-U.S. jurisdictions and non-U.S. customs regulation.
UPS's aircraft maintenance programs and procedures, including aircraft inspection and repair at periodic intervals, are approved for all aircraft under FAA regulations. The future cost of repairs pursuant to these programs may fluctuate according to aircraft condition, age and the enactment of additional FAA regulatory requirements.
The TSA regulates various security aspects of air cargo transportation. Our airport and off-airport locations, as well as our personnel, facilities and procedures involved in air cargo transportation must comply with TSA regulations.
Our airline, along with a number of other U.S. domestic airlines, participates in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (“CRAF”) program. Our participation in the CRAF program allows the U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”) to requisition specified UPS aircraft for military use during a national defense emergency. The DOD is required to compensate us for any use of aircraft under the CRAF program. In addition, participation in CRAF entitles us to bid for other U.S. Government opportunities including small package and air freight.
Our ground transportation of packages in the U.S. is subject to regulation by the DOT and its agency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (the “FMCSA”). Ground transportation also falls under state jurisdiction with respect to the regulation of operations, safety and insurance. Our ground transportation of hazardous materials in the U.S. is subject to regulation by the DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. We also must comply with safety and fitness regulations promulgated by the FMCSA, including those relating to drug and alcohol testing and hours of service for drivers. Ground transportation of packages outside of the U.S. is subject to similar regulatory schemes in the countries in which we transport those packages.
The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 created the U.S. Postal Service as an independent establishment of the executive branch of the federal government, and created the Postal Rate Commission, an independent agency, to recommend postal rates. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 amended the 1970 Act to give the re-named Postal Regulatory Commission revised oversight authority over many aspects of the U.S. Postal Service, including postal rates, product offerings and service standards. We sometimes participate in proceedings before the Postal Regulatory Commission in an attempt to secure fair postal rates for competitive services.
Our ground operations are also subject to compliance with various cargo-security and transportation regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including regulation by the TSA in the U.S., and similar regulations issued by foreign governments in other countries.
We are subject to the customs laws regarding the import and export of shipments in the countries in which we operate, including those related to the filing of documents on behalf of client importers and exporters. Our activities in the U.S., including customs brokerage and freight forwarding, are subject to regulation by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, the TSA, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission and the DOT. Our international operations are subject to similar regulatory structures in their respective jurisdictions.
For additional information, see “Risk Factors – Business and Operating Risks – Increased security requirements impose substantial costs on us and we could be the target of an attack or have a security breach, which could materially adversely affect us”.
We are subject to federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations across all of our operations. These laws and regulations cover a variety of processes, including, but not limited to: properly storing, handling and disposing of waste materials; appropriately managing waste water and storm water; monitoring and maintaining the integrity of underground storage tanks; complying with laws regarding clean air, including those governing emissions; protecting against and appropriately responding to spills and releases and communicating the presence of reportable quantities of hazardous materials to local responders. We maintain site- and activity-specific environmental compliance and pollution prevention programs to address our environmental responsibilities and remain compliant. In addition, we maintain numerous programs which seek to minimize waste and prevent pollution within our operations.
Pursuant to the Federal Aviation Act, the FAA, with the assistance of the Environmental Protection Agency is authorized to establish standards governing aircraft noise. Our aircraft fleet is in compliance with current noise standards of the federal aviation regulations. Our international operations are also subject to noise regulations in certain other countries in which we operate.
For additional information, see “Risk Factors – Regulatory and Legal Risks – Increasingly stringent regulations related to climate change could materially increase our operating costs”.
Communications and Data Protection
Because of our extensive use of radio and other communication facilities in our aircraft and ground transportation operations, we are subject to the Federal Communications Act of 1934, as amended. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission regulates and licenses our activities pertaining to satellite communications. There has recently been increased regulatory and enforcement focus on data protection in the U.S. (at both the state and federal level) and in other countries.
For additional information, see “Risk Factors – Business and Operating Risks – A significant data breach or information technology system disruption could materially adversely affect us”.
For additional information on governmental regulations and their potential impact on us generally, see “Risk Factors – Regulatory and Legal Risks”.
Where You Can Find More Information
We maintain a website at www.ups.com. Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports filed with or furnished to the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are made available free of charge through our investor relations website at www.investors.ups.com under the heading "Financials - SEC Filings" as soon as reasonably practical after we electronically file or furnish the reports to the SEC. We have a written Code of Business Conduct that applies to all of our directors, officers and employees, including our principal executive and financial officers. It is available under the heading "ESG - Governance Documents" on our investor relations website. In the event that we make changes in, or provide waivers from, the provisions of the Code of Business Conduct that the SEC requires us to disclose, we intend to disclose these events within four business days following the date of the amendment or waiver in that section of our investor relations website.
Our Corporate Governance Guidelines and the Charters for our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Executive Committee, Risk Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee are also available under the heading "ESG- Governance Documents" on our investor relations website.
Our sustainability report, which describes our activities that support our commitment to acting responsibly and contributing to society, is available at www.sustainability.ups.com.
We provide the addresses to our internet sites solely for information. We do not intend for any addresses to be active links or to otherwise incorporate the contents of any website into this or any other report we file with the SEC.
Item 1A.Risk Factors
Our business, financial condition and results of operations are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties. In connection with any investment decision, you should carefully consider the following risk factors, which may have materially affected or could materially affect us, including impacting our business, financial condition, results of operations, stock price or credit rating, as well as our reputation. You should read these risk factors in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Item 7 and our Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes in Item 8. These risks are not the only ones we face. We could also be affected by other events, factors or uncertainties that are unknown to us, or that we do not currently consider to be material risks.
Business and Operating Risks
The outbreak and spread of the novel strain of coronavirus COVID-19 has had a significant impact on us, as well as on the operations, financial performance and liquidity of many of our customers. We are unable to predict the full extent to which the coronavirus will continue to adversely impact us.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in, and is expected to continue to result in, a substantial curtailment of business activities (including the decrease in demand for a broad variety of goods and services), weakened economic conditions, supply chain disruptions, significant economic uncertainty and volatility in the financial markets, both in the United States and abroad. The pandemic has significantly impacted, and is expected to continue to significantly impact us, and has had, and is expected to continue to have, a material adverse impact on the operations, financial performance and liquidity of many of our customers.
Because the ongoing severity, magnitude and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences are uncertain, rapidly changing and difficult to predict, the future impact on our operations, financial condition and liquidity remains uncertain and difficult to predict. The impact of the pandemic will depend on evolving factors, many of which are not within our control, and to which we may not be able to effectively respond. These risks include, but are not limited to: a significant reduction in revenue due to curtailment of business from our customers; a significant increase in our expenses or a reduction in our operating margins due to long-term changes in the mix of our products and services; effects from governmental, business and individuals’ actions that have been and continue to be taken in response to the pandemic (including restrictions on travel and transportation and workforce pressures); reductions in operating effectiveness due to employees working remotely; unavailability of personnel; the delay or cancellation of capital projects and related delays in, or loss of, expected benefits therefrom; limited access to liquidity; increased volatility and pricing in the capital and commercial paper markets; further disruption of our global supply chains; an impairment in the fair value of our assets; an increase in our pension funding obligations; and the effect of the pandemic on the credit-worthiness of our customers. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the volatile regional and global economic conditions stemming from it, could also precipitate or aggravate risk factors that we identify herein or affect our operations and financial performance in a manner that is not presently known to us or that we currently do not consider material. The occurrence or continuation of any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on us.
Changes in general economic conditions, in the U.S. and internationally, may adversely affect us.
We conduct operations in over 220 countries and territories. Our operations are subject to cyclicality affecting national and international economies in general, as well as the local economic environments in which we operate. The factors that result in general economic changes are beyond our control, and it may be difficult for us to adjust our business model to mitigate the impact of these factors. In particular, we are affected by levels of industrial production, consumer spending and retail activity and we could be materially affected by adverse developments in these aspects of the economy, including without limitation the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, there remains substantial economic uncertainty arising from the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union. The U.K. and the E.U. continue to negotiate their future relationship, which could take several years to finalize. The outcome of these negotiations could result in, among other things, transportation delays, increased costs, fewer goods being transported globally, additional volatility in currency exchange rates and further regulations relating to, among other things, trade, aviation and the transport of goods. Changes in general economic conditions, or our inability to accurately forecast these changes, could materially adversely affect us.
Our industry is rapidly evolving. We expect to continue to face significant competition, which could materially adversely affect us.
Our industry is rapidly evolving, including in response to demand for faster deliveries and increased visibility into shipments. We expect to continue to face significant competition on a local, regional, national and international basis. Current competitors include the postal services of the U.S. and other nations, various motor carriers, express companies, freight forwarders, air couriers, large transportation and e-commerce companies that are making significant investments in their capabilities, and start ups and other companies that combine technologies with crowdsourcing to focus on local market needs, some of whom are currently our customers. Competition may also come from other sources in the future, including as new technologies are developed. Competitors have cost and organizational structures that differ from ours and from time to time may offer services or pricing terms that we may not be willing or able to offer. Additionally, to sustain the level of services and value that we deliver to our customers, from time to time we may raise prices and our customers may not be willing to accept these higher prices. If we are unable to timely and appropriately respond to competitive pressures, we could be materially adversely affected.
Continued transportation industry consolidation may further increase competition. As a result of consolidation, competitors may increase their market share, improve their financial capacity and strengthen their competitive positions. Business combinations could also result in competitors providing a wider variety of services and products at competitive prices, which could materially adversely affect us.
Changes in our relationships with any of our significant customers, including the loss or reduction in business from one or more of them, could have a material adverse effect on us.
For the year ended December 31, 2020, business from one customer, Amazon.com, Inc. and its affiliates, accounted for 13.3% of our consolidated revenues. Some of our other significant customers can account for a relatively significant portion of our revenues in a particular quarter or year. Customer impact on our revenue is based on factors such as: product launches; e-commerce or other industry trends, including those related to the fourth quarter holiday season; business combinations and the overall growth of a customer's underlying business; as well as any disruptions to their businesses. These customers could choose to divert all or a portion of their business with us to one of our competitors, demand pricing concessions for our services, require us to provide enhanced services that increase our costs, or develop their own shipping and distribution capabilities. In addition, certain of our significant customer contracts include termination rights of either party upon the occurrence of certain events or without cause upon advance notice to the other party. If all or a portion of our business relationships with one or more significant customers were to terminate, significantly change or be canceled, this could materially adversely affect us.
Failure to attract or retain qualified employees could materially adversely affect us.
We maintain a large workforce, and necessarily depend on the skills and continued service of our employees, including our experienced management team. We also regularly hire a large number of part-time and seasonal workers. We must be able to attract, engage, develop and retain a large and diverse global workforce, while controlling related labor costs and maintaining an environment that supports our core values. Our ability to control labor costs is subject to numerous factors, including turnover, training costs, regulatory changes, market pressures, unemployment levels and healthcare and other benefit costs. If we are unable to hire, properly train and retain qualified employees, we could experience higher employment costs, reduced sales, further increased workers' compensation and automobile liability claims, regulatory noncompliance, losses of customers and diminution of our brand value or company culture, which could materially adversely affect us.
In addition, our strategic initiatives, including transformation, have and may in the future lead to the creation of fewer, more impactful jobs as we strive to lower our cost to serve. Our inability to continue to retain experienced and motivated employees may also materially adversely affect us.
Increased security requirements impose substantial costs on us and we could be the target of an attack or have a security breach, which could materially adversely affect us.
As a result of concerns about global terrorism and homeland security, governments around the world have adopted or may adopt stricter security requirements that will result in increased operating costs for businesses in the transportation industry. These requirements may change periodically as a result of regulatory and legislative requirements and in response to evolving threats. We cannot determine the effect that any new requirements will have on our cost structure or our operating results, and new rules or other future security requirements may increase our operating costs and reduce operating efficiencies. Regardless of our compliance with security requirements or the steps we take to secure our facilities or fleet, we could also be the target of an attack or security breaches could occur, which could materially adversely affect us.
Strikes, work stoppages and slowdowns by our employees could materially adversely affect us.
Many of our U.S. employees are employed under a national master agreement and various supplemental agreements with local unions affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("the Teamsters"). Our airline pilots, airline mechanics, ground mechanics and certain other employees are employed under other collective bargaining agreements. In addition, some of our international employees are employed under collective bargaining or similar agreements. Strikes, work stoppages or slowdowns by our employees could adversely affect our ability to meet our customers' needs. As a result, customers may reduce their business or stop doing business with us if they believe that such actions or threatened actions may adversely affect our ability to provide services. We may permanently lose customers if we are unable to provide uninterrupted service, and this could materially adversely affect us. The terms of future collective bargaining agreements also may affect our competitive position and results of operations.
Failure to maintain our brand image and corporate reputation could materially adversely affect us.
Our success depends in part on our ability to maintain the image of the UPS brand and our reputation for providing excellent service to our customers. Service quality issues, actual or perceived, even when false or unfounded, could tarnish the image of our brand and may cause customers to use other companies. Also, adverse publicity surrounding labor relations, environmental concerns, security matters, political activities and similar matters, or attempts to connect our company to such issues, either in the U.S. or other countries in which we operate, could negatively affect our overall reputation and use of our services by customers. Social media accelerates and amplifies the scope of negative publicity, and makes responding to negative claims more difficult. Damage to our reputation and loss of brand equity could reduce demand for our services and thus have a material adverse effect on us, and could require additional resources to rebuild our reputation and restore the value of our brand.
A significant data breach or information technology system disruption could materially adversely affect us.
We rely heavily on information technology networks and systems, including the internet and a number of internally-developed systems and applications, to manage or support a wide variety of important business processes and activities throughout our operations. For example, we rely on information technology to receive package level information in advance of physical receipt of packages, to track items that move through our delivery systems, to efficiently plan deliveries, to execute billing processes, and to track and report financial and operational data. Our franchise locations and businesses we have acquired also are reliant on the use of information technology systems to manage their business processes and activities.
In addition, the provision of service to our customers and the operation of our networks and systems involve the collection, storage and transmission of significant amounts of proprietary information and sensitive or confidential data, including personal information of customers, employees and others. To conduct our operations, we regularly move data across national borders, and consequently we are subject to a variety of continuously evolving and developing laws and regulations in the U.S. and abroad regarding privacy, data protection and data security. The scope of the laws that may be applicable to us is often uncertain and may be conflicting, particularly with respect to foreign laws. For example, the E.U. has enacted the General Data Protection Regulation, which greatly increases the jurisdictional reach of E.U. law and adds a broad array of requirements for handling personal data, including the public disclosure of significant data breaches. Other countries have also enacted or are enacting data localization laws that require data to stay within their borders. These evolving compliance and operational requirements impose significant costs that are likely to increase over time.
Information technology systems (ours, as well as those of our franchisees, acquired businesses, and third-party service providers) are susceptible to damage, disruptions or shutdowns due to programming errors, defects or other vulnerabilities, power outages, hardware failures, computer viruses, cyber-attacks, ransomware attacks, malware attacks, theft, misconduct by employees or other insiders, telecommunications failures, misuse, human errors or other catastrophic events. Hackers, foreign governments, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals, acting individually or in coordinated groups, may launch distributed denial of service attacks or other coordinated attacks that may cause service outages, gain inappropriate or block legitimate access to systems or information, or result in other interruptions in our business. In addition, the foregoing breaches in security could expose us, our customers and franchisees, or the individuals affected, to a risk of loss, disclosure or misuse of proprietary information and sensitive or confidential data, including personally identifiable information. The techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service or sabotage systems change frequently, may be difficult to detect and often are not recognized until launched against a target. As a result, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate measures to prevent any of the events described above.
We also depend on and interact with the information technology networks and systems of third-parties for many aspects of our business operations, including our customers, franchisees and service providers such as cloud service providers and third-party delivery services. These third parties may have access to information we maintain about our company, operations, customers, employees and vendors, or operating systems that are critical to or can significantly impact our business operations. Like us, these third parties are subject to risks imposed by data breaches and information technology systems disruptions like those described above, and other events or actions that could damage, disrupt or close down their networks or systems. Security processes, protocols and standards that we have implemented and contractual provisions requiring security measures that we may have sought to impose on such third-parties may not be sufficient or effective at preventing such events. These events could result in unauthorized access to, or disruptions or denials of access to, misuse or disclosure of, information or systems that are important to our business, including proprietary information, sensitive or confidential data, and other information about our operations, customers, employees and suppliers, including personal information.
Any of these events that impact our information technology networks or systems, or those of acquired businesses, franchisees, customers, service providers or other third-parties, could result in disruptions in our operations, the loss of existing or potential customers, damage to our brand and reputation, regulatory scrutiny, and litigation and potential liability for us. Among other consequences, our customers’ confidence in our ability to protect data and systems and to provide services consistent with their expectations could be impacted, further disrupting our operations. Similarly, an actual or alleged failure to comply with applicable U.S. or foreign data protection regulations or other data protection standards may expose us to litigation, fines, sanctions or other penalties.
We have invested and continue to invest in technology security initiatives, information technology risk management and disaster recovery plans. The cost and operational consequences of implementing, maintaining and enhancing further data or system protection measures could increase significantly to overcome increasingly intense, complex and sophisticated global cyber threats. Despite our best efforts, we are not fully insulated from data breaches and system disruptions. Although to date we are unaware of a data breach or system disruption, including a cyber-attack, that has been material to us, we cannot provide any assurances that such events and impacts will not be material in the future, and our efforts to deter, identify, mitigate and/or eliminate future breaches may require significant additional effort and expense and may not be successful.
Severe weather or other natural or manmade disasters could materially adversely affect us.
Severe weather conditions or other natural or manmade disasters, including storms, floods, fires, earthquakes, epidemics, pandemics, conflicts, unrest, or terrorist attacks, have in the past and may in the future disrupt our business and result in decreased revenues. Customers may reduce shipments, or our costs to operate our business may increase, either of which could have a material adverse effect on us. Any such event affecting one of our major facilities could result in a significant interruption in or disruption of our business.
Economic, political, or social developments and other risks associated with international operations could materially adversely affect us.
We have significant international operations. As a result, we are continually exposed to changing economic, political and social developments that are beyond our control. Emerging markets are typically more volatile than those in the developed world, and any broad-based downturn in these markets could reduce our revenues and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. We are subject to many laws governing our international operations, including those that prohibit improper payments to government officials and commercial customers, govern our environmental impact or labor matters, and restrict where we can do business, our shipments to certain countries and the information that we can provide to non-U.S. governments. Our failure to manage and anticipate these and other risks associated with our international operations could materially adversely affect us.
Changes in markets and our business plans have resulted, and may in the future result, in substantial write-downs of the carrying value of our assets, thereby reducing our net income.
Our regular review of the carrying value of our assets, changes in business strategy, government regulations, and economic or market conditions have resulted from time to time, and may in the future result, in substantial impairments of our intangible, fixed or other assets. For example, in connection with our entry into a definitive agreement to divest our UPS Freight business, we recognized a $629 million after-tax impairment charge as of December 31, 2020. In addition, we have been and may be required in the future to recognize increased depreciation and amortization charges if we determine that the useful lives of our fixed assets or intangible assets are shorter than we originally estimated. Such changes have in the past, and may in the future, reduce our net income.
Insurance and claims expense could materially affect us.
We have a combination of both self-insurance and high-deductible insurance programs for the risks arising out of the services we provide and the nature of our global operations, including claims exposure resulting from cargo loss, personal injury, property damage, aircraft and related liabilities, business interruption and workers' compensation. Self-insured workers' compensation, automobile and general liabilities are determined using actuarial estimates of the aggregate liability for claims incurred and an estimate of incurred but not reported claims, on an undiscounted basis. Our accruals for insurance reserves reflect certain actuarial assumptions and management judgments, which are subject to a high degree of variability. If the number or severity of claims for which we are retaining risk continues to increase, which has occurred in recent periods, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected. If we lose our ability to self-insure these risks, our insurance cost could materially increase and we may find it difficult to obtain adequate levels of insurance coverage.
Our inability to effectively integrate any acquired operations and realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances or dispositions could materially adversely affect us.
As part of our business strategy, we may acquire businesses and form joint ventures or strategic alliances, or may dispose of operations. Whether we realize the anticipated benefits from these transactions will depend, in part, upon the successful integration between the businesses involved, the performance of the underlying operations, capabilities or technologies and the management of the acquired operations. Accordingly, our financial results could be materially adversely affected by our failure to effectively integrate the acquired operations, unanticipated performance issues or transaction-related charges.
We are exposed to the effects of changing fuel and energy prices, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, and interruptions in supplies of these commodities.
Changing fuel and energy costs have a significant impact on our operations. We require significant quantities of fuel for our aircraft and delivery vehicles and are exposed to the risks associated with variations in the market price for petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. We mitigate our exposure to changing fuel prices through our indexed fuel surcharges and we utilize hedging transactions from time to time. If we are unable to maintain or increase our fuel surcharges, higher fuel costs could adversely impact our operating results. Even if we are able to offset changes in fuel costs with surcharges, high fuel surcharges may result in a shift from our higher-yielding products to lower-yielding products or an overall reduction in volume. There can also be no assurance that hedging transactions will be effective to protect us from changes in fuel prices. Moreover, we could experience a disruption in energy supplies as a result of war, weather-related events or natural disasters, actions by producers or other factors beyond our control, which could have a material adverse effect on us.
Changes in exchange rates or interest rates may have a material adverse effect on us.
We conduct business across the globe with a significant portion of our revenue derived from operations outside the United States. Our operations in international markets are affected by changes in the exchange rates for local currencies, in particular the Euro, British Pound Sterling, Canadian Dollar, Chinese Renminbi and Hong Kong Dollar.
We are exposed to changes in interest rates, primarily on our short-term debt and that portion of our long-term debt that carries floating interest rates. The impact of a 100-basis-point change in interest rates affecting our debt is discussed in Part II, “Item 7A - Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk” section of this report. Additionally, changes in interest rates impact the valuation of our pension and postretirement benefit obligations and the related benefit cost recognized in the statements of consolidated income. The impact of changes in interest rates on our pension and postretirement benefit obligations and costs is discussed further in Part I, "Item 7 - Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" section of this report.
We monitor and manage our exposures to changes in currency exchange rates and interest rates, and use derivative instruments to mitigate the impact of changes in these rates on our financial condition and results of operations; however, changes in exchange rates and interest rates cannot always be predicted or hedged and may have a material adverse effect on us.
The proposed phase out of the London Interbank Offer Rate ("LIBOR") could have a material adverse effect on us.
Certain of our debt and other financial instruments have interest rates tied to LIBOR. The Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, has announced that the FCA will no longer persuade or compel banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. However, the ICE Benchmark Administration, in its capacity as administrator of U.S. Dollar LIBOR, has announced that it intends to extend publication of certain U.S. Dollar LIBOR rates to June 2023. Notwithstanding this possible extension, a joint statement by key regulatory authorities calls on banks to cease entering into new contracts that use U.S. Dollar LIBOR as a reference rate after 2021.
At this time, it is not possible to predict the effect any discontinuance, modification or other reforms to LIBOR, or the establishment of alternative reference rates, may have on our cost of capital. Any further changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of LIBOR may result in a sudden or prolonged increase or decrease in reported LIBOR, which could have an adverse impact on extensions of credit held by us and could have a material adverse effect on us.
We are required to make significant capital and other investments in our business, of which a significant portion is tied to projected volume levels.
We require significant capital investments in our business consisting of aircraft, vehicles, technology, facilities and sorting and other types of equipment. In addition to forecasting our capital investment requirements, we adjust other elements of our operations and cost structure in response to economic conditions. These investments support both our existing business and anticipated growth. Forecasting projected volume involves many factors which are subject to uncertainty, such as general economic trends, changes in governmental regulation and competition. If we do not accurately forecast our future capital investment needs, we could have excess capacity or insufficient capacity, either of which would negatively affect our revenues and profitability.
Employee health and retiree health and pension benefit costs represent a significant expense to us; further cost increases could materially adversely affect us.
Our expenses relating to employee health and retiree health and pension benefits are significant. In recent years, we have experienced significant increases in some of these costs, largely as a result of economic factors beyond our control, including, in particular, ongoing increases in healthcare costs in excess of the rate of inflation and historically low discount rates that we use to value our company-sponsored benefit plan obligations. Continually increasing healthcare costs, volatility in investment returns and discount rates, as well as changes in laws, regulations and assumptions used to calculate retiree health and pension benefit expenses, may adversely affect our business, financial condition, or results of operations, and may require significant contributions to our benefit plans. Our national master agreement with the Teamsters includes provisions that are designed to mitigate certain healthcare expenses, but there can be no assurance that our efforts will be successful or that the failure or success of these efforts will not materially adversely affect us.
We participate in a number of trustee-managed multiemployer pension and health and welfare plans for employees covered under collective bargaining agreements. As part of the overall collective bargaining process for wage and benefit levels, we have agreed to contribute certain amounts to the multiemployer benefit plans during the contract period. The multiemployer benefit plans set benefit levels and are responsible for benefit delivery to participants. Future contribution amounts to multiemployer benefit plans will be determined only through collective bargaining, and we have no additional legal or constructive obligation to increase contributions beyond the agreed-upon amounts. However, in future collective bargaining negotiations, we could agree to make significantly higher future contributions to improve the funded status of one or more of these plans. The funded status of these multiemployer plans is impacted by various factors, including investment performance, healthcare inflation, changes in demographics and changes in participant benefit levels. At this time, we are unable to determine the amount of additional future contributions, if any, or whether any material adverse effect on us could result from our participation in these plans.
In addition to our on-going multiemployer pension plan obligations, we may have an obligation to pay significant coordinating benefits that were earned by UPS employees in the Central States Pension Fund (the "CSPF"). For additional information on our potential liabilities related to the CSPF, see note 6 to the audited, consolidated financial statements.
We may have significant additional tax liabilities.
We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. and many foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes. In the course of our business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain.
We are regularly under audit by tax authorities in different jurisdictions. Economic and political pressures to increase tax revenue in various jurisdictions may make resolving tax disputes more difficult. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final determination of tax audits and any related litigation in the jurisdictions where we are subject to taxation could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals. In addition, changes in U.S. federal and state or international tax laws applicable to corporate multinationals, other fundamental law changes currently being considered by many countries, and changes in taxing jurisdictions’ administrative interpretations, decisions, policies and positions may materially adversely impact our tax expense and cash flows.
Regulatory and Legal Risks
Increasingly complex and stringent laws, regulations and policies could materially increase our operating costs.
We are subject to complex and stringent aviation, transportation, environmental, security, labor, employment, safety, privacy and data protection and other governmental laws, regulations and policies, both in the U.S. and in other countries in which we operate. In addition, we are impacted by laws, regulations and policies that affect global trade, including tariff and trade policies, export requirements, taxes, monetary policies and other restrictions and charges. Recently, trade discussions between the U.S. and various of its trading partners have been fluid, and existing and future trade agreements are, and are expected to continue to be, subject to a number of uncertainties, including the imposition of new tariffs or adjustments and changes to the products covered by existing tariffs. The impact of new laws, regulations and policies or decisions or interpretations by authorities applying those laws and regulations, cannot be predicted. Compliance with any new laws, regulations or policies may increase our operating costs or require significant capital expenditures. Any failure to comply with applicable laws, regulations or policies in the U.S. or in any of the other countries in which we operate could result in substantial fines or possible revocation of our authority to conduct our operations, which could adversely affect us.
Increasingly stringent regulations related to climate change could materially increase our operating costs.
Regulation of greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions exposes our transportation and logistics businesses to potentially significant new taxes, fees and other costs. Compliance with such regulation, and any increased or additional regulation, or the associated costs is further complicated by the fact that various countries and regions are following different approaches to the regulation of climate change.
For example, in 2009, the European Commission approved the extension to the airline industry of the E.U. Emissions Trading Scheme (“ETS”) for GHG emissions. Under this decision, all of our flights operating within the E.U. are covered by the ETS requirements, and we are required annually to purchase emission allowances in an amount exceeding the number of free allowances allocated to us under the ETS. Similarly, in 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”) passed a resolution adopting the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (“CORSIA”), which is a global, market-based emissions offset program to encourage carbon-neutral growth beyond 2020. A pilot phase is scheduled to begin in 2021 in which countries may voluntarily participate, and full mandatory participation is scheduled to begin in 2027. ICAO continues to develop details regarding implementation, but compliance with CORSIA will increase our operating costs.
In the U.S., Congress in the past several years has considered various bills that would regulate GHG emissions, but these bills so far have not received sufficient Congressional support for enactment. Nevertheless, some form of federal climate change legislation is possible in the future. Even in the absence of such legislation, the Environmental Protection Agency could determine to regulate GHG emissions, especially aircraft or diesel engine emissions, and this could impose substantial costs on us.
In addition, the impact that the recent re-entry into the Paris climate accord may have on future U.S. policy regarding GHG emissions, on CORSIA and on other GHG regulation is uncertain. The extent to which other countries implement that accord could also have an adverse direct or indirect effect on us.
Potential costs to us of increased regulation regarding GHG emissions in the U.S. or abroad, especially aircraft or diesel engine emissions, include an increase in the cost of the fuel and other energy we purchase and capital costs associated with updating or replacing our aircraft or vehicles prematurely. We cannot predict the impact any future regulation would have on our cost structure or our operating results. It is possible that such regulation could significantly increase our operating costs and that we may not be willing or able to pass such costs along to our customers. Moreover, even without such regulation, increased awareness and any adverse publicity in the global marketplace about the GHGs emitted by companies in the airline and transportation industries could harm our reputation and reduce customer demand for our services, especially our air services.
We may be subject to various claims and lawsuits that could result in significant expenditures.
The nature of our business exposes us to the potential for various claims and litigation related to labor and employment, personal injury, property damage, business practices, environmental liability and other matters. Any material litigation or a catastrophic accident or series of accidents could result in significant expenditures and have a material adverse effect on us.
Item 1B.Unresolved Staff Comments
Information About Our Executive Officers
For information about our executive officers, see Part III, "Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance".
We own our corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, our UPS Supply Chain Solutions headquarters, located in Alpharetta, Georgia and our information technology headquarters, located in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our primary information technology operations are consolidated in an owned facility in New Jersey and we own a backup facility in Georgia.
We own or lease over 1,000 package operating facilities in the U.S., with approximately 81 million square feet of floor space. These facilities have vehicles and drivers stationed for the pickup and delivery of packages, and capacity to sort and transfer packages. Our larger facilities also service our vehicles and equipment, and employ specialized mechanical equipment for the sorting and handling of packages. We own or lease approximately 800 facilities that support our international package operations, with approximately 23 million square feet of floor space.
Our aircraft are operated in a hub and spoke pattern in the U.S., with our principal air hub, Worldport, located in Louisville, Kentucky. Our major air hub in Europe is located in Germany, and in Asia we operate two major air hubs in China and one in Hong Kong.
We own or lease more than 500 facilities, with approximately 40 million square feet of floor space, which support our freight forwarding and logistics operations. We own and operate a logistics campus consisting of approximately 4 million square feet in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, we own or lease approximately 200 UPS Freight service centers with approximately 6 million square feet of floor space which are classified as held for sale in the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020. For additional information see note 4 to the audited, consolidated financial statements.
The following table shows information about our aircraft fleet as of December 31, 2020:
|Description||Owned & Finance Leases||Operating Leases &|
Charters From Others
|On Order||Under Option|
|Boeing 757-200||75 ||— ||— ||— |
|Boeing 767-300||69 ||— ||3 ||— |
|Boeing 767-300BCF||4 ||— ||— ||— |
|Boeing 767-300BDSF||4 ||— ||— |
|Airbus A300-600||52 ||— ||— ||— |
|Boeing MD-11||40 ||— ||2 ||— |
|Boeing 747-400F||11 ||— ||— ||— |
|Boeing 747-400BCF||2 ||— ||— ||— |
|Boeing 747-8F||20 ||— ||8 ||— |
|Other||— ||311 ||— ||— |
|Total||277 ||311 ||13 ||— |
We operate a global ground fleet of approximately 127,000 package cars, vans, tractors and motorcycles, of which approximately 5,700 tractors used in our UPS Freight operations are classified as held for sale in the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020.
Our ground support fleet consists of 38,000 pieces of equipment designed specifically to support our aircraft fleet, ranging from non-powered container dollies and racks to powered aircraft main deck loaders and cargo tractors. We also have 58,000 containers used to transport cargo in our aircraft.
Item 3.Legal Proceedings
See note 6 to the audited, consolidated financial statements for a discussion of pension related matters and note 10 to the audited, consolidated financial statements for a discussion of judicial proceedings and other matters arising from the conduct of our business activities.
Item 4.Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5.Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our class A common stock is not listed on a national securities exchange or traded in an organized over-the-counter market, but each share of our class A common stock is convertible into one share of our class B common stock. Our class B common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “UPS”.
As of February 8, 2021, there were 159,333 and 19,412 shareowners of record of class A and class B common stock, respectively.
Our practice has been to pay dividends on a quarterly basis. The declaration of dividends is subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors and will depend on various factors, including our net income, financial condition, cash requirements, future prospects and other relevant factors.
On February 10, 2021, our Board declared a dividend of $1.02 per share, which is payable on March 10, 2021 to shareowners of record on February 22, 2021.
In May 2016, the Board of Directors approved a share repurchase authorization of $8.0 billion for shares of class A and class B common stock. In the first quarter of 2020, our share repurchases totaled approximately $217 million. On April 28, 2020, we announced our intention to suspend share repurchases under our stock repurchase program. There were no repurchases of class A or class B common stock during the last nine months of 2020 and we do not currently anticipate any share repurchases in 2021. As of December 31, 2020, we had $2.1 billion available under our share repurchase authorization.
For additional information on our share repurchase activities, see note 12 to the audited, consolidated financial statements.
Shareowner Return Performance Graph
The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that the Company specifically incorporates such information by reference into such filing.
The following graph shows a five-year comparison of cumulative total shareowners’ returns for our class B common stock, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Dow Jones Transportation Average. The comparison of the total cumulative return on investment, which is the change in the stock price plus reinvested dividends for each of the quarterly periods, assumes that $100 was invested on December 31, 2015 in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the Dow Jones Transportation Average and our class B common stock.
|United Parcel Service, Inc.||$||100.00 ||$||122.71 ||$||131.47 ||$||111.12 ||$||139.45 ||$||207.36 |
|Standard & Poor’s 500 Index||$||100.00 ||$||111.95 ||$||136.38 ||$||130.40 ||$||172.92 ||$||204.72 |
|Dow Jones Transportation Average||$||100.00 ||$||121.86 ||$||145.04 ||$||127.15 ||$||154.68 ||$||180.23 |
For information regarding our equity compensation plans, see Item 12 of this report.
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
The following table sets forth selected financial data for each of the five years in the period ended December 31, 2020 (in millions, except per share amounts). This financial data should be read together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, including the Supplemental Information - Items Affecting Comparability section, and other financial data appearing elsewhere in this report.
| ||Years Ended December 31,|
|Selected Income Statement Data|
|U.S. Domestic Package||$||53,499 ||$||46,493 ||$||43,593 ||$||40,761 ||$||38,284 |
|International Package||15,945 |