Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)


12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2021
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Basis of Financial Statements and Business Activities
Basis of Financial Statements and Business Activities
The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP"), and include the accounts of United Parcel Service, Inc., and all of its consolidated subsidiaries (collectively "UPS" or the "Company"). All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated.
We provide transportation services, primarily domestic and international letter and package delivery. Through our Supply Chain Solutions subsidiaries, we are also a global provider of transportation, logistics and related services.
Use of Estimates
Use of Estimates
The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires the use of estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the reported amounts of revenues and expenses and the disclosure of contingencies. Estimates have been prepared on the basis of the most current and best information, and actual results could differ materially from those estimates. In particular, a number of estimates have been and will continue to be affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic and its economic consequences remain uncertain, are changing and are difficult to predict. As a result, our accounting estimates and assumptions may change over time.
Revenue Recognition
Revenue Recognition
United States ("U.S.") Domestic and International Package Operations: Revenue is recognized over time as we perform the services in the contract.
Forwarding: Freight forwarding revenue and the expense related to the transportation of freight are recognized over time as we perform the services. Truckload brokerage revenue and related transportation costs are recognized over time as we perform the services. Customs brokerage revenue is recognized upon completing documents necessary for customs entry purposes.
Logistics & Distribution: In our Logistics & Distribution business we have a right to consideration from customers in an amount that corresponds directly with the value to the customers of our performance completed to date, and as such we recognize revenue in the amount to which we have a right to invoice the customer.
UPS Freight: Prior to divestiture, revenue was recognized over time as we performed the services in the contract. Refer to note 4 for discussion of the divestiture.
Financial Services: Income on loans and direct finance leases is recognized on the effective interest method. Accrual of interest income is suspended at the earlier of the time at which collection of an account becomes doubtful or the account becomes 90 days delinquent. Income on operating leases is recognized on the straight-line method over the terms of the underlying leases.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents consist of highly liquid investments that are readily convertible into cash. We consider securities with maturities of three months or less, when purchased, to be cash equivalents. The carrying amount of these securities approximates fair value because of the short-term maturity of these instruments.
Debt securities are either classified as trading or available-for-sale securities and are carried at fair value. Unrealized gains and losses on trading securities are reported as Investment income (expense) and other on the statements of consolidated income. Unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities are reported as other comprehensive income, a separate component of shareowners’ equity. The amortized cost of debt securities is adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts to maturity. Such amortization and accretion is included in Investment income (expense) and other, along with interest and dividends. The cost of securities sold is based on the specific identification method; realized gains and losses resulting from such sales are included in Investment income (expense) and other.
We periodically review our available-for-sale investments for indications of other-than-temporary impairment considering many factors, including the extent and duration to which a security’s fair value has been less than its cost, overall economic and market conditions and the financial condition and specific prospects for the issuer. Impairment of available-for-sale securities results in a charge to income when a market decline below cost is other-than-temporary.
Fuel and other materials and supplies inventories are recognized as inventory when purchased, and then charged to expense when used in our operations. Jet fuel, diesel and unleaded gasoline inventories are valued at the lower of average cost or net realizable value. Total inventories were $717 and $620 million as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, and are included in Other current assets in the consolidated balance sheets.
Property, Plant and Equipment
Property, Plant and Equipment
Property, plant and equipment are carried at cost. We evaluate the useful lives of our property, plant and equipment based on our usage, maintenance and replacement policies, and taking into account physical and economic factors that may affect the useful lives of the assets.
Depreciation and amortization are provided by the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which are as follows:
Aircraft: 7 to 40 years, based on aircraft type and original aircraft manufacture date
Buildings: 10 to 40 years
Leasehold Improvements: lesser of asset useful life or lease term
Plant Equipment: 3 to 20 years
Technology Equipment: 3 to 10 years
Vehicles: 5 to 15 years
For substantially all of our aircraft, the costs of major airframe and engine overhauls, as well as routine maintenance and repairs, are charged to expense as incurred.
Interest incurred during the construction period of certain property, plant and equipment is capitalized until the underlying assets are placed in service, at which time amortization of the capitalized interest begins, straight-line, over the estimated useful lives of the related assets. Capitalized interest was $58 and $87 million for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
We review long-lived assets for impairment when circumstances indicate the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable based on its undiscounted future cash flows. If the carrying amount of the asset is determined not to be recoverable, a write-down to fair value is recorded. Fair values are determined based on quoted market values, discounted cash flows or external appraisals, as appropriate. We test long-lived assets for impairment at the asset group level, which is the lowest level at which independent cash flows can be identified. Refer to note 5 for a discussion of impairments of property, plant and equipment recognized during the year.
Goodwill and Intangible Assets
Goodwill and Intangible Assets
Costs of purchased businesses in excess of net identifiable assets acquired (goodwill) and indefinite-lived intangible assets are tested for impairment at least annually, unless changes in circumstances indicate an impairment may have occurred sooner. We are required to test goodwill on a reporting unit basis and we complete our annual goodwill impairment evaluation as of July 1st.
In assessing goodwill for impairment, we initially evaluate qualitative factors to determine if it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. We consider several factors, including macroeconomic conditions, industry and market conditions, overall financial performance of the reporting unit, changes in management, strategy or customers and relevant reporting unit-specific events such as a change in the carrying amount of net assets, a more likely than not expectation of selling or disposing of all, or a portion of, a reporting unit, and the testing for recoverability of a significant asset group within a reporting unit. If this qualitative assessment results in a conclusion that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit exceeds the carrying value, then no further testing is performed for that reporting unit.
If the qualitative assessment is not conclusive, we quantitatively assess the fair value of a reporting unit to test goodwill for impairment. We assess the fair value of a reporting unit using a combination of discounted cash flow modeling and observable valuation multiples for comparable companies. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds the reporting unit’s fair value, we record the excess amount as goodwill impairment, not to exceed the total amount of goodwill allocated to the reporting unit.
When performing impairment tests of indefinite-lived intangible assets, the estimated fair value is compared to the carrying value of the asset. If the carrying value of the asset exceeds its estimated fair value, an impairment charge is recognized for the amount by which the carrying amount of the asset exceeds its fair value.
Finite-lived intangible assets, including trademarks, licenses, patents, customer lists, non-compete agreements and franchise rights are amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which range from 2 to 22 years. Capitalized software is generally amortized over 7 years.
Self-Insurance Accruals
Self-Insurance Accruals
We self-insure costs associated with workers’ compensation claims, automobile liability, health and welfare and general business liabilities, up to certain limits. Self-insurance reserves are established for estimates of the loss that we will ultimately incur on reported claims, as well as estimates of claims that have been incurred but not yet reported. The expected ultimate cost for claims incurred is estimated based upon historical loss experience and judgments about the present and expected levels of cost per claim. Trends in actual experience are a significant factor in the determination of our reserves.
Workers’ compensation, automobile liability and general liability insurance claims may take several years to completely resolve. Consequently, actuarial estimates are required to project the ultimate cost that will be incurred to fully resolve a claim. Several factors can affect the actual cost, or severity, of a claim, including the length of time the claim remains open, trends in healthcare costs, the results of any related litigation and changes in legislation. Furthermore, claims may emerge in a future year for events that occurred in a prior year at a rate that differs from actuarial projections. All these factors can result in revisions to actuarial projections and produce a material difference between estimated and actual operating results. We believe our estimated reserves for such claims are adequate, but actual experience in claim frequency and/or severity could materially differ from our estimates and affect our results of operations.
We also sponsor a number of health and welfare insurance plans for our employees. Liabilities and expenses related to these plans are based on estimates of the number of employees and eligible dependents covered under the plans, global health events, anticipated medical usage by participants and overall trends in medical costs and inflation.
Pension and Postretirement Benefits
Pension and Postretirement Benefits
We incur certain employment-related expenses associated with pension and postretirement medical benefits. These pension and postretirement medical benefit costs for company-sponsored defined benefit plans are calculated using various actuarial assumptions and methodologies, including discount rates, expected returns on plan assets, healthcare cost trend rates, inflation, compensation increase rates, mortality rates and coordination of benefits with plans not sponsored by UPS. Actuarial assumptions are reviewed on an annual basis, unless circumstances require an interim remeasurement of any of our plans.
We recognize changes in the fair value of plan assets and net actuarial gains or losses in excess of a corridor (defined as 10% of the greater of the fair value of plan assets or the plan's projected benefit obligation) in Investment income (expense) and other upon remeasurement of a plan. The remaining components of pension expense, primarily service and interest costs and the expected return on plan assets, are recorded ratably on a quarterly basis.
We recognize expense for required contributions to defined contribution plans quarterly, and we recognize a liability for any contributions due and unpaid within Accrued group welfare and retirement plan contributions.
We participate in a number of trustee-managed multiemployer pension and health and welfare plans for employees covered under collective bargaining agreements. Our contributions to these plans are determined in accordance with the respective collective bargaining agreements. We recognize expense for the contractually required contribution for each period, and we recognize a liability for any contributions due and unpaid within Accrued group welfare and retirement plan contributions.
Income Taxes
Income Taxes
Income taxes are accounted for on an asset and liability approach that requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been recognized in our consolidated financial statements or tax returns. In estimating future tax consequences, we generally consider all expected future events other than proposed changes in the tax law or rates. Valuation allowances are provided if it is more likely than not that a deferred tax asset will not be realized. Our current accounting policy for releasing income tax effects from other comprehensive income is based on a portfolio approach.
We recognize liabilities for uncertain tax positions based on a two-step process. The first step is to evaluate the tax position for recognition by determining if the weight of available evidence indicates that it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained on audit, including resolution of related appeals or litigation processes, if any. Once it is determined that the position meets the recognition threshold, the second step requires us to estimate and measure the largest amount of tax benefit that is more likely than not to be realized upon ultimate settlement. The difference between the amount of recognizable tax benefit and the total amount of tax benefit from positions filed or to be filed with the tax authorities is recorded as a liability for uncertain tax benefits. It is inherently difficult and subjective to estimate such amounts, as we have to determine the probability of various possible outcomes. We reevaluate uncertain tax positions on a quarterly basis. This evaluation is based on factors including, but not limited to, changes in facts or circumstances, changes in tax law, effectively settled issues under audit and new audit activity. Such a change in recognition or measurement could result in the recognition of a tax benefit or an additional charge to the tax provision.
Foreign Currency Translation
Foreign Currency Translation and Remeasurement
We translate the results of operations of our foreign subsidiaries using average exchange rates during each period, whereas balance sheet accounts are translated using exchange rates at the end of each period. Balance sheet currency translation adjustments are recorded in other comprehensive income. Pre-tax foreign currency transaction gains (losses) from remeasurement, net of hedging, included in Investment income (expense) and other were $(36), $9 and $(6) million in 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Stock-Based Compensation
Stock-Based Compensation
All share-based awards to employees are measured based on their fair values and expensed over the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award (the vesting period), less estimated forfeitures. We have issued employee share-based awards under various incentive compensation plans that contain vesting conditions, including service conditions, where the awards cliff vest or vest ratably over a one, three, or five year period (the "nominal vesting period") or at the date the employee retires (as defined by the plan), if earlier. Compensation cost is generally recognized immediately for awards granted to retirement-eligible employees, or over the period from the grant date to the date retirement eligibility is achieved, if that is expected to occur during the nominal vesting period. We estimate forfeiture rates based on historical rates of forfeitures for awards with similar characteristics, historical and projected rates of employee turnover and the nature and terms of the vesting conditions of the awards. We reevaluate our forfeiture rates on an annual basis.
Fair Value Measurements
Fair Value Measurements
Our financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis have been categorized based upon a fair value hierarchy. Level 1 inputs utilize quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities. Level 2 inputs are based on other observable market data, such as quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities, and inputs other than quoted prices that are observable, such as interest rates and yield curves. Level 3 inputs are developed from unobservable data reflecting our own assumptions, and include situations where there is little or no market activity for the asset or liability.
Certain non-financial assets and liabilities are measured at fair value on a nonrecurring basis, including property, plant, and equipment, goodwill and intangible assets. These assets are subject to fair value adjustments in certain circumstances, such as when there is evidence of an impairment. A general description of the valuation methodologies used for assets and liabilities measured at fair value, including the general classification of such assets and liabilities pursuant to the valuation hierarchy, is included in each footnote with fair value measurements present.
For business acquisitions, we allocate the fair value of purchase consideration to the tangible assets acquired, liabilities assumed and intangible assets acquired based on their estimated fair values. The excess of the fair value of purchase consideration over the fair values of these identifiable assets and liabilities is recorded as goodwill. During the measurement period, which is one year from the acquisition date, we may record adjustments to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed, with the corresponding offset to goodwill. Following the conclusion of the measurement period, any subsequent adjustments are recorded to earnings.
Derivative Instruments
Derivative Instruments
We recognize all derivative instruments as assets or liabilities in the consolidated balance sheets at fair value. The accounting for changes in the fair value of a derivative instrument depends on whether it has been designated and qualifies as part of a hedging relationship and, further, on the type of hedging relationship. For those derivative instruments that are designated and qualify as hedging instruments, we designate the derivative as a cash flow hedge, a fair value hedge or a hedge of a net investment in a foreign operation based upon the exposure being hedged.
A cash flow hedge refers to hedging the exposure to variability in expected future cash flows that is attributable to a particular risk. For derivative instruments that are designated and qualify as cash flow hedges, the gain or loss on the derivative instrument is reported as a component of other comprehensive income, and reclassified into earnings in the period during which the hedged transaction affects earnings.
A fair value hedge refers to hedging the exposure to changes in the fair value of an existing asset or liability that is attributable to a particular risk. For derivative instruments that are designated and qualify as fair value hedges, the gain or loss on the derivative instrument is recognized during the current period, as well as the offsetting gain or loss on the hedged item.
A net investment hedge refers to the use of cross currency swaps, forward contracts or foreign currency denominated debt to hedge portions of net investments in foreign operations. For instruments that meet the hedge accounting requirements, the net gains or losses attributable to changes in spot exchange rates are recorded in the foreign currency translation adjustment within other comprehensive income, and are recorded in the income statement when the hedged item affects earnings.
Recently Adopted Accounting Standards
Adoption of New Accounting Standards
In June 2016, the FASB issued an ASU introducing an expected credit loss methodology for the measurement of financial assets not accounted for at fair value. The methodology replaced the probable, incurred loss model for those assets. We adopted this standard on January 1, 2020 by updating our process for calculating our allowance for credit losses to include reasonable and supportable forecasts that could affect expected collectability. As of December 31, 2021, we decreased our allowance for credit losses by $10 million, primarily based upon improvements in customer collections.
In January 2017, the FASB issued an ASU to simplify the accounting for goodwill impairment by eliminating the requirement to calculate the implied fair value of goodwill using a hypothetical purchase price allocation. Under this ASU, goodwill impairment is the amount by which a reporting unit’s carrying value exceeds its fair value, not to exceed the carrying amount of goodwill. We adopted this standard on January 1, 2020, applying the simplified approach to calculate the goodwill impairment charge of $494 million that we recorded in 2020 in conjunction with the divestiture of UPS Freight.
In December 2019, the FASB issued an ASU to simplify the accounting for income taxes. The update removes certain exceptions to the general income tax principles. Effective October 1, 2020, we early adopted this ASU. It did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
In March 2020, the FASB issued ASU 2020-04, Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848), to temporarily ease the potential burden in accounting for reference rate reform. The standard provides optional expedients and exceptions for applying GAAP to contracts, hedging relationships and other transactions affected by reference rate reform. The guidance was effective upon issuance and at present can generally be applied through December 31, 2022. We are evaluating the potential impacts of reference rate reform on our various contractual positions to determine whether we may apply any of the practical expedients set forth in this standard; however, we do not expect reference rate reform to have a material impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Other accounting pronouncements adopted during the periods covered by the consolidated financial statements did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Accounting Standards Issued But Not Yet Effective
Accounting pronouncements issued, but not effective until after December 31, 2021, are not expected to have a material impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Lessee, Leases Leased AssetsFor a discussion of our accounting policies related to leased assets, refer to note 12.
Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets, Including Intangible Assets, Policy
Assets Held for Sale
We classify long-lived assets or disposal groups as held for sale in the period when all of the following conditions have been met:
we have approved and committed to a plan to sell the assets or disposal group;
the asset or disposal group is available for immediate sale in its present condition;
an active program to locate a buyer and other actions required to complete the sale have been initiated;
the sale of the asset or disposal group is probable and expected to be completed within one year;
the asset or disposal group is being actively marketed for sale at a price that is reasonable in relation to its current fair value; and
it is unlikely that significant changes to the plan will be made or that the plan will be withdrawn.
We initially measure a long-lived asset or disposal group that is classified as held for sale at the lower of its carrying value or fair value less any costs to sell and recognize any loss in the period in which the held for sale criteria are met. Gains are not recognized until the date of sale. We cease depreciation and amortization of a long-lived asset, or assets within a disposal group, upon their designation as held for sale and subsequently assess fair value less any costs to sell at each reporting period until the asset or disposal group is no longer classified as held for sale.