Posted July 24, 2023

NAW: Massive disruption if UPS drivers strike

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), the voice of the $8.2 trillion wholesale distribution industry that employs over 6 million U.S. workers, released the following statement after conducting a survey of potential impacts to NAW member companies:

“For months now, a portion of our membership has been preparing their operations to absorb the impact of a UPS Driver’s Strike, while also working to offer solutions and contingency plans for those impacted by the strike. The rest of our membership relies 100% on UPS and are trying to figure out how to do business if they must go without their carrier,” said NAW CEO Eric Hoplin.

“NAW members and the wholesale distribution industry will face severe hardships and disruptions if talks break down and the UPS strike goes into effect this weekend,” continued Hoplin. “We encourage UPS and their labor union to come to an agreement this week, and for President Biden and his administration to get involved if an agreement is far off."

Excerpts from the survey are below:

Do you use UPS as a carrier in your transportation operation?

– Most NAW members surveyed said they depend on UPS as a carrier in their transportation operations.

What percentage of your inbound and/or outbound shipments are handled by UPS?

–  NAW members surveyed said UPS handles fifty to one hundred percent of their inbound and/or outbound shipments.

Describe how a nationwide UPS worker strike of 1–15 days would impact your operations:

– Most of NAW members surveyed said they would see a significant short-term impact on their operations.

Under the Taft-Hartley Act, the president can intervene to end a nationwide UPS worker strike by declaring a national emergency. Would you support such an action by President Biden if a strike were to occur?

–Most of NAW members surveyed said they would support the President using his authority to declare a national emergency to end a nationwide UPS worker strike

Member stories:

If alternative carriers cannot pick up the additional business, a UPS strike would be crippling in the short term and cost significant revenue.
UPS strike would delay deliveries to rural areas and disrupt emergency critical repair parts delivery.

– Distribution teams could see a reduction in pay, and there could be possible layoffs and delayed delivery to customers, and the bottom line will take a hit.
or businesses like healthcare, this could be critical. The ripple impact of an extended strike would significantly impact all US businesses.

– We are in the book distribution business, and a strike would have a massive impact on the industry. There are no real mitigation options. UPS is too big of a factor in the book industry.

– It will likely delay the delivery of inventory products used by critical aerospace and defense contractors.

– We are an electronic component distributor. A strike would have a harmful impact. Customers are manufacturers and are already worried about not having parts to continue producing.

See Survey and Distribution Stories Here