UPS (UPS) Last Update 4/28/24
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Trefis Price
Top Drivers for Period
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TREFIS Analysis

Trefis Report
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Potential upside & downside to trefis price

UPS Company


  1. US Domestic Package (Next Day Air, Domestic Deferred Package, Domestic Ground Package) constitutes 67% of the Trefis price estimate for UPS's stock.
  2. International Package (International Domestic Package, International Export Package, International Cargo) constitutes 19% of the Trefis price estimate for UPS's stock.
  3. Supply Chain and Other Businesses constitute 13% of the Trefis price estimate for UPS's stock.


  1. UPS Stock Performance

    • UPS stock has seen a decline of 10% from levels of $170 in early January 2021 to around $150 now, vs. an increase of about 35% for the S&P 500 over this roughly three-year period.
    • However, the decrease in UPS stock has been far from consistent. Returns for the stock were 27% in 2021, -19% in 2022, and -10% in 2023. In comparison, returns for the S&P 500 have been 27% in 2021, -19% in 2022, and 24% in 2023 — indicating that UPS underperformed the S&P in 2023.
  2. Q1 2024 Performance

    • UPS posted an 5% revenue decline to $21.7 billion in Q1 2024. All segments saw a decline of 5% to 6%. The consolidated adjusted operating margin stood at 8.0%. Looking at the bottom line, adjusted EPS plunged 35% y-o-y to $1.43 in Q1 2024.
  3. Volatile fuel prices
    • Crude oil prices saw a significant drop in 2020, followed by an oil price war led by Saudi Arabia. US WTI declined from levels of over $50 toward the end of January to levels of less than $15 on April 28, 2020, reflecting a decline of 70%. However, oil prices have recovered over the last couple of years. US WTI stood at about $80 as of early August 2023. Higher oil price translates into higher operating expenses for UPS. However, a rise in fuel surcharge-related adjustments to its freight rates partially offset the impact of higher operating expenses on the company's bottom line.


Below are key drivers of UPS that present opportunities for upside or downside to the current Trefis price estimate.


  • UPS EBITDA Margin: The EBITDA margins for UPS have largely fallen between 13% and 17%. It stood at 16.9% in 2022. We expect margins to improve to over 18% by the end of our review period in 2030. However, if EBITDA margins were to increase to over 22%, there would be a more than 35% upside in our price estimate for UPS.


United Parcel Service, Inc. ("UPS") is the world's largest package delivery company, a leader in the U.S. truckload industry, and a global leader in supply chain management. It delivers packages each business day from its 1990 locations worldwide to 10 million consignees in over 220 countries and territories.

Its primary business is the delivery of packages and documents worldwide. The UPS service portfolio also includes global supply chain services, and truckload transportation which is primarily in the U.S. Other business units within this segment include Mail Boxes Etc. and UPS Capital.

UPS operates a ground fleet of approximately 123,000 vehicles which reaches all business and residential zip codes in the contiguous U.S. It also operates an air fleet of 650 aircraft and is one of the largest airlines in the world. The firm's primary air hub is in Louisville, Kentucky. Regional air hubs are located in Hartford, Connecticut; Ontario, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Rockford, Illinois. Its largest international air hub is in Cologne, Germany, with other regional international hubs in Miami, Florida; Ontario, Canada; Hong Kong; Singapore; Taiwan; and China.


The US Domestic Package segment is the most valuable to the company because of the following reasons.

Highest number of shipments for US Domestic Package division

The US Domestic package division delivers a greater number of packages than the International Package division or UPS Freight. The total number of packages transported by the US Domestic division is almost 6 times the number transported by the International Package division.

The primary reason behind the high volumes of the U.S. Domestic Package segment is the booming e-commerce industry. With the North American e-commerce market forecast to grow in double-digits over the next few years, we believe UPS's US Domestic Package segment will continue to grow in the coming years.


Growing U.S. e-commerce industry

The growing e-commerce industry has been driving volumes at UPS's U.S. Domestic Package segment. Not only is online shopping more convenient, but it has also become more accessible due to the increase in the number of smartphones and tablets available, supported by higher internet penetration. Many brick-and-mortar retailers have rolled out online shopping portals to cater to the growing online retail shopping customer base. Deals and discounts on online shopping also encourage customers to purchase via websites rather than traditional stores. UPS' package volume is directly impacted by e-commerce sales since many online retailers, such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), employ UPS' services in order to offer their customers timely and economical delivery of products.

Dimension based pricing

Before 2014, UPS's margins declined due to the growing number of lightweight yet bigger packages. Since these packages were priced on the basis of their weight, they generated lower revenues due to fewer packages carried per vehicle or aircraft. In order to realize better prices for such packages, UPS decided to follow a dimension-based pricing strategy which has resulted in an increase in the pricing of the lightweight yet bigger packages. This strategy has helped improve margins.

Global Sourcing

Increased international trade in finished goods translates into more packages shipped over long distances. However, the potential benefits of international trade for UPS are not limited to growth in the parcel carrier market. Many developed world businesses already purchase materials they use from abroad, and this practice, which is known as global sourcing, is on the rise.

For businesses, the downside of global sourcing is complex supply chains that present previously unknown risks. For businesses facing import/export regulations and international transportation logistics for the first time, the appeal of outsourcing supply chain management is obvious. UPS Supply Chain Solutions hopes to capitalize on a projected increase in the market for third-party supply chain managers.