In 1907, two teenage entrepreneurs created what would become the world's largest parcel delivery service. Starting in a Seattle basement with a $100 loan, Claude Ryan and Jim Casey opened the American Messenger Company.
In 1919, the company made its first expansion beyond Seattle to Oakland, California, where the name United Parcel Service debuted. That same year, the company painted the company's cars its signature colour brown, representing class, sophistication and professionalism.
UPS makes its first expansion to the East Coast in metropolitan New York City, moving the corporate office from Los Angeles to 331 East 38th Street, New York City.
In 1953, UPS began common carrier operations, serving commercial and residential shippers in some cities including Chicago - the first city outside of California in which UPS offered this. The company also reintroduced air service (there was a badly-timed two-year venture started in 1929) offering two-day delivery to major East and West Coast cities. Like the first time, UPS shipments flew on regular commercial flights.
In 1975, UPS became the first package delivery company to serve every address in the continental U.S. This incredible connection of service areas came to have an epic nickname within UPS - the 'Golden Link.' That same year, the company went abroad for the first time offering services in Toronto.
In 1985, UPS Next Day Air service became the first air delivery network to reach every address in the 48-contiguous states, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. That same year, UPS began its first intercontinental air service between the U.S. and Europe.
In 1988, UPS won approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate its own aircraft, launching UPS Airlines.
After a decade of seeing its reach grow throughout the Americas and Europe, in 1989 UPS extended service to the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific Rim. Currently UPS operates in more than 220 countries and territories across the globe.
In 1994, UPS moved its corporate headquarters to Atlanta with construction emphasising energy efficiencies and an extensive tree protection and replacement programme. The location at 55 Glenlake Parkway is still its current home. This year also saw the debut of UPS.com.
During the 1990s, UPS expanded its vision to become a true enabler of global commerce. This led, to the big step of going public for the first time on 10 Nov 1999.
In 2001, UPS entered the retail business acquiring Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., the world's largest franchisor of retail shipping, postal and business service centres. Within two years, approximately 3,000 Mail Boxes Etc. locations in the U.S. re-branded as The UPS Store and began offering lower UPS-direct shipping rates.
After expanding its portfolio throughout the decade, including acquiring tech-driven freight brokerage Coyote Logistics in 2015, UPS began offering Saturday ground delivery and Saturday collection services. It was the first time in the company's history, delivering shippers industry-leading Saturday choices.
Carol B. Tomé began her tenure as the 12th CEO of UPS on 1 June 2020, becoming the first female CEO in the company’s 113-year history.