Don’t Wait: How Small Business Owners Can Prepare for a Potential UPS Strike Now

UPS ships approximately 24 million packages daily and handles around one-fourth of all parcel volume in the United States; that’s roughly six percent of America’s GDP. So, when Teamsters, the union representing UPS workers, expresses concern about worker safety and compensation, there’s a lot on the line. A few of Teamsters’ current demands are higher part-time pay, more full-time positions, video cameras, harassment protection, cooling measures in the vehicle fleets, and no more two-tier wage system, to name a few. With the current contract at UPS expiring on August 1st and negotiations grinding to a halt, the possibility of a strike is growing daily.

The recent talks of this potential UPS standstill in August have raised concerns among small business owners who rely heavily on their shipping services. We are coaching our clients to take proactive measures to mitigate the impact on their business operations and maintain a smooth customer experience. 

 Diversify Your Shipping Options

Relying solely on a single shipping provider can be risky, especially when faced with the possibility of a strike. As a small business owner, exploring alternative shipping options in your area is crucial. Research and identify reliable courier services, regional carriers, or local delivery companies that can meet your shipping needs. By diversifying your shipping options, you can minimize disruptions and ensure timely deliveries, even during a UPS strike. 

 Strengthen Relationships with Other Carriers

Take the time to build relationships with alternative carriers and logistics providers in your network. Reach out to them, introduce your business, and discuss the possibility of working together in case of a UPS strike. Building these connections will help streamline the onboarding process, ensuring a smoother transition if you need to switch shipping providers temporarily. Maintaining good relationships with multiple carriers also opens up opportunities for competitive rates and better service options. 

Evaluate Inventory Management and Production

A potential UPS strike may cause delays in receiving essential supplies or shipping products to your customers. Reviewing your inventory management and production processes to identify areas of improvement is vital. Consider increasing your safety stock levels for critical items, optimizing your production schedule to accommodate potential delays, and ensuring clear communication with suppliers to manage expectations. By proactively managing your inventory and production, you can mitigate the impact of a UPS strike on your business operations. 

Enhance Communication Channels

Effective communication is critical during times of uncertainty. Review your communication channels with customers, suppliers, and employees to ensure they are robust and efficient. Consider leveraging multiple communication platforms, such as email, social media, and your business website, to keep stakeholders informed about any potential shipping disruptions or changes in delivery timelines. Clear and timely communication will help manage customer expectations and maintain trust even during challenging situations. 

Plan for Customer Service and Support

A UPS strike may increase customer inquiries and concerns. Prepare your customer service team by providing them with the necessary information and tools to handle questions related to shipping delays or alternative delivery options. Implement strategies to manage customer expectations proactively, such as setting realistic delivery timelines, offering alternative shipping options, or providing updates through automated tracking notifications. You can uphold customer satisfaction and loyalty during a UPS strike by addressing customer concerns promptly and providing exceptional support. 

As a small business owner, being proactive and prepared is crucial when faced with the potential of a UPS strike. You can minimize the impact on your business operations by diversifying your shipping options, strengthening relationships with alternative carriers, optimizing your inventory management and production processes, enhancing communication channels, and planning for customer service and support.