UPS is a package delivery company that has grown into one of the largest delivery companies in the world. With its iconic brown trucks roaming the streets of every major city across the globe the company delivers over 15 million packages each day to over 6.1 million customers. But it wasn’t always that way. There was a time many years ago that the company everyone knows today was just the vision of two young men.
The two young men in question were 19 year old Jim Casey and 18 year old Claude Ryan. Together these two men would get together and form a small messenger company in Seattle, Washington known as the American Messenger Company. They formed their new business venture just over 100 years ago in 1907. And they did by borrowing a $100.
These two enterprising young men soon had a thriving business on their hands and in 1913 they would take the company a step further by merging with one of their competitors Evert McCabe. Together the company which was newly renamed as Merchants Parcel Delivery would begin using the Ford Model T as the first ever delivery vehicle. And the company would also introduce the concept of consolidated delivery which insured that packages going to the same area went on the same vehicle.
By 1918 the company owned a fleet of delivery vehicles and expansion would begin outside the Seattle, Washington area. In 1919 the company officially changed its name to United Parcel Service although it wouldn’t be until 1930 when the company began entering the Eastern and Midwestern portions of the country that the entire company would officially adopt the name. It was also in 1930 that the company would start to use what is known as Pullman brown on all of its vehicles. The color they still use today.
It wasn’t until the early 50’s that UPS began to build its own air fleet known as Blue Label Air to help move packages all over the country and it actually took until 1975 for UPS to begin delivering packages to all 48 contiguous states. In 1975 UPS also began their first international deliveries by opening up operations in Canada. But once that border was crossed then true international expansion of the company would begin.
Today UPS operates in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. They not only handle package delivery but freight services, trucking companies, mail box stores, and much more. Chances are you’ve used UPS to deliver a package at some time or another and many business owners see the UPS guy nearly every day. Now whether a young Jim Casey and Claude Ryan ever thought their small messenger company that they began 100 years ago would become such a global icon who can really say. But they can be proud of it none the less.
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