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UPS Secures Key Air Cargo Contract with United States Postal Service

Analyst Team trader
Updated 2 Apr 2024

United Parcel Service shares (NYSE: UPS) are up 0.40% through the premarket session, as news of a new contract begins to get digested by markets. With UPS share price down 6.77% YTD, some positive news is welcome.

In a shake-up within the air cargo industry, UPS have clinched a pivotal contract with the United States Postal Service (USPS), making it the primary air cargo provider for the national mail carrier. The deal is set to redefine the air cargo landscape and pointedly impact the bottom lines of the companies involved. Could this help shift momentum after a slow start to the year or is more needed?

This particular contract, committed for a minimum duration of five and a half years, secures a long-term partnership between UPS and USPS. This marks a significant shift from USPS’s previous primary alliance with (NYSE: FDX down 3.3% yesterday). The timely acquisition of the contract by UPS comes as FedEx's existing agreement with USPS approaches its end by late September, with renewal negotiations having come to a standstill.


Among such collaborations, USPS had made a noteworthy move in 2020, fortifying its air cargo network through a four-year extension of its contract with FedEx. However, the transition to UPS signals a new strategic direction for USPS as it propels toward aggressive cost management goals. Aiming to trim its transportation costs by an ambitious $3 billion over the coming two years, USPS is tilting favor towards shifting more shipments to ground transport—a move anticipated to enhance cost-efficiency amidst a fluctuating logistics landscape.

The timing of this contract is particularly salient given the latest industry data. The International Air Transport Association reported last month a notable surge in global air cargo demand, a sector previously hit by the pandemic-induced economic upheaval. This surge suggests a rebounding market where a reliable logistics partner is crucial for USPS’s operational success.

Notably, the financial markets responded to this development with mixed sentiments. In the wake of the announcement, UPS shares experienced a slight dip in Monday afternoon trading, alluding to cautious investor reaction. On the opposite spectrum, FedEx's stock felt a more pronounced impact, with more than a 3 percent decline, reflecting concerns over the loss of a major contract and its future business outlook.

While the specifics of the contract's financials and operational logistics remain under wraps, the development undeniably positions UPS as a pivotal player in the USPS's strategic reconfiguration of its cargo transport framework. The implications of this move will play out across the industry, affecting market dynamics and influencing the strategies of competitors and partners alike.

As the logistics sector continues to evolve, the spotlight remains on how juggernauts like UPS and FedEx will navigate these changes. The USPS’s decision indicates a trend towards cost-effectiveness and efficiency, setting the tone for future contracts and alignment within the industry. This new partnership reveals an evolving terrain in air cargo services, where traditional alliances may give way to more surprising, strategic partnerships.

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The AskTraders Analyst Team features experts in technical and fundamental analysis, as well as traders specializing in stocks, forex, and cryptocurrency.