UPS will expand its number of in-store pickup access points by 12,000, reaching 21,000 retail locations in the U.S. and 40,000 globally. The company also will undertake a number of other initiatives, including launching a next-day shipping option, expanding delivery to seven days and creating a drone delivery subsidiary.
CVS, The Michaels Company and Advance Auto Parts have partnered with UPS to house the access points in the U.S., providing shoppers with additional options for picking up packages they have ordered. Once the new locations are rolled out, more than 90% of U.S. shoppers will have a UPS access point within five miles of their home. UPS didn’t provide a specific timetable for adding the new locations.
Additionally, UPS will start offering next-day delivery in enough cities and towns to reach approximately 85% of the U.S. population. UPS also will begin offering pickup and delivery services seven days per week starting January 1, 2020.
UPS will further expand its options for retailers with UPS My Choice, which allows SMBs to monitor, plan and control deliveries and outgoing shipments. The solution features a web-based dashboard and advance delivery notifications for “day-before” and “day-of” delivery alerts, with estimated arrival times within two hours.
The company also launched UPS Worldwide Economy, which supports international shipments of low-priced items through a range of delivery options. The program will initially be available to retailers in the U.S., Canada, China, Hong Kong and the UK.
Investments To Shorten Transit Times, Prep For Drone Delivery
The delivery company also is making investments to optimize transportation assets, shipping modes and technology resources in order to shorten time in transit. The investments will focus on shipping lanes to connect areas where 80% of U.S. shoppers live.
Additionally, UPS has filed for Part 135 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate a drone delivery subsidiary called UPS Flight Forward. The certification will allow application for FAA-approved flight operations beyond line of sight, at night, and with an unlimited number of drones and operators in command as the company develops its capabilities.