Big brown trucks full of big and small brown packages. That’s what UPS has built its brand on, and it’s kept the company growing for well over a hundred years.

United Parcel Service (UPS) is a multinational supply chain management organization and delivery service. It’s a company that’s made its mark not only in business, but in popular culture. There are many divisions of this company, including freight trucking, shipping centers, a cargo airline, retail stores, and business support.

Top of the World

UPS is the largest shipping company in the world, consistently beating out competitors like Fedex and DHL. A major part of this success is because UPS has an impeccable record of both delivery and customer service. Since the company began, it’s prided itself on getting things there on time or making it right with customers if things are late. UPS makes almost five billion dollars per year in annual revenue. 

The company is headquartered in the United States. It was founded in Seattle, Washington, but currently its global headquarters are located in Sand Springs, Georgia, which is part of the greater metro area of Atlanta. 

Its services reach every corner of the globe. 

Branding it Brown

The branding of UPS is distinct and incredibly important to its success. The brown that is used on the company logo and marketing materials is known as Pulliam Brown. The reason for using this color goes back to the company’s founding, when founder James E. Casey wanted to paint the delivery vehicles yellow. His business partner, Charles Soderstrom, argued that keeping that color clean would be impossible and instead pushed for the company to go with the same brown color as Pulliam railroad cars. 

The color has even turned into a marketing touchstone for UPS’s advertisements, which ran with the tagline “What can brown do for you?” for many years starting after the turn of the millennium,

Forward in Time

Though UPS was founded in 1911, it’s consistently pushed forward with technology. The company spends roughly one billion dollars per year to upgrade and maintain its shipping technology in order to stay competitive. This includes things like delbery tracking, automated warehouse functions, artificial intelligence software, and smart scanning. 

The company has also been quick to embrace environmentally friendly technological advances. It’s been awarded the Clean Air Excellence Award by the EPA thanks to its alternative fuel program. The company began purchasing carbon offsets in 2009 in order to further neutralize its carbon footprint. These developments have not been without controversy however, as the projects have cost the company many millions of dollars to implement.

In the future, it’s highly expected that UPS will embrace self driving vehicles in order to cut costs and improve delivery functionality. This change is already stirring up controversy, as manned delivery service is a major driver of jobs in the United States and across the world. The company currently employs almost half a million people all over the world. Customer engagement has long been a strong suit of UPS, and how that legacy of service can be maintained as automation becomes necessary is an important question for the company going forward. 

No matter how you deliver the news, UPS is a world brand that knows what it’s doing. After more than a century in business, it continues to be a world leader in the big business of delivery.