Since I'm rural and it's usually cheaper and easier to have things delivered than going after them, I was thinking. Who thought up the idea of a nationwide delivery service outside the Postal Service. Well, I found the answer.
Once upon a time in 1907 two young men, Jim Casey, 19, and Claude Ryan, 18, borrowed $100, got their bicycle and started delivering messages. They found some teenagers to help out and started delivering telegrams, messages, packages, and lunch trays. With the phone becoming more popular they expanded to just packages. The company did well despite stiff competition, largely because of Jim Casey´s strict policies of customer courtesy, reliability, round-the-clock service, and low rates. These principles, which guide UPS even today, are summarized by Jim´s slogan: best service and lowest rates.
For about two years, the company´s largest client was the United States Post Office, for which they delivered all special delivery mail entering Seattle. During this period, the company began using consolidated delivery, that is combining packages addressed to a certain neighborhood onto one delivery vehicle.
The company acquired its first delivery car, a Model T Ford, and on its side was inscribed a new name: Merchants Parcel Delivery. They painted it Pullman Brown, because it was dignified. By 1918 three of Seattle´s largest department stores had become regular customers, disposing of their own delivery cars (which Jim and his associates often purchased) and turning business over to Merchants Parcel Delivery.
In 1919 the company made its first expansion beyond Seattle to Oakland, California, and adopted its present name, United Parcel Service. The word "United" served as a reminder that the company´s operations in each city were part of the same organization, "Parcel" identified the nature of the business, and "Service" indicated what was offered.
In 1922 UPS acquired a company in Los Angeles with an innovative practice known as "common carrier" service. Common carrier service incorporated many of the features and operating principles of the retail store delivery service with features not then offered by many other private carriers, or even the parcel post.
The differentiating features of common carrier service included automatic daily pickup calls, acceptance of checks made out to the shipper in payment of C.O.D.s, additional delivery attempts, automatic return of undeliverables, and streamlined documentation with weekly billing. Perhaps the most key feature was that UPS was able to provide its extensive service at rates comparable to those of parcel post.
In 1924 UPS debuted another of the technological innovations that would shape its future: the first conveyor belt system for handling packages. While the common carrier service was at first limited to a small area around Los Angeles, by 1927 it had been expanded to include an area extending up to 125 miles from the city´s center. At the same time, the retail delivery services of UPS had also expanded to include all the major cities on the U.S. Pacific Coast.
Today UPS delivers more than 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers in more than 220 countries and territories around the world.
I know I love seeing that brown truck stop at the end of the driveway and blow the horn.
(Want the full, official history? Go here http://www.ups.com/content/corp/about/his
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