UPS teams up with 3 major retailers, launches new services to expand delivery

United Parcel Service (UPS) announced it is dramatically expanding its UPS Access Point network and teaming up with three well-known retailers to help capture e-commerce.

Pharmacy giant (CVS), arts and crafts retailer Michaels (MIK), and Advance Auto Parts will partner with UPS to add 12,000 additional Access Point locations where customers can schedule to pick up or drop off a package. The total number of locations in the U.S. will grow to 21,000. UPS said the new partnerships will put 90% of the U.S. population within five miles of an Access Point location.

“Our customers gain convenience and control and UPS attains further geographic reach and greater densities,” said UPS Chief Sales and Solutions Officer Kate Gutmann.

New York, USA - October 4, 2016: A UPS box truck parked on Spring street in SoHo Lower Manhattan late in the day.

The expansion was revealed on the eve of its second quarter earnings report which UPS announced Wednesday morning. The company beat estimates on adjusted EPS of $1.96 and revenue of $18 billion "led by a more than 30% surge in UPS Next Day Air volume."

The changes are part of what UPS calls “innovative new products and services to help customers grow and succeed.”

UPS Vice President for International Marketing Jan Willem Breen said It’s also part of UPS’s four business imperatives announced last year which include an emphasis on e-commerce and small business.

The global delivery giant faces competition from Amazon (AMZN), which is scaling up its own shipping and logistics business via Amazon Air, and established rival FedEx (FDX).

[Read also: UPS paves profitable path for drone deliveries as it prepares for nationwide takeoff]

Additionally, UPS is launching UPS Worldwide Economy which it describes as providing customers more affordable and efficient international shipping options that will still have the same UPS track, trace and delivery systems as traditional UPS shipping products The new service will be available to customers in the U.S., Canada, China, Hong Kong and the U.K.

Worldwide Economy will appeal to small businesses that want to save money when they don’t need what Breen calls super fast transit times but also want to open new cross market borders, according to Breen.

“The cross border market is predicted to make up 20% of the total e-commerce market in 2022 and much faster growing than domestic,” Breen said. It is also a growth area for UPS, the largest customs brokerage in the world because, “we look at small business customers most of them do not yet export,” according to Breen.

Delivering change

Among UPS’s other changes are a new seven-day delivery option starting January 1, 2020 that will allow UPS residential and commercial customers to pick up or take delivery on Sundays.

The 112-year-old company is also expanding its My Choice for home program to small businesses. The My Choice for business launches July 29 and will allow customers to track and control multiple deliveries the same way residential customers can track an individual package.

UPS said 60 million people worldwide use the UPS My Choice for home delivery system. The company issued a press release that said the new My Choice for business platform will, “pair seamlessly with UPS Access Point locations” allowing customers to better control their shipments.

Adam Shapiro is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance On the Move.

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