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About UPS

  • 1907 1907-1913 Creating a Messenger Service
  • 1913 1913-1918 Retail Beginnings
  • 1918 1918-1930 Entering the Common Carrier Era
  • 1930 1930-1975 Expansion and Transformation
  • 1975 1975-1990 International Growth and UPS Airlines
  • 1990 1990-1999 Consistent Innovation
  • 1999 1999-2010 Global Commerce and Evolution
  • 2010 - 2014 2010-2014 The New Logistics

1907-1913: Creating a Messenger Service

At the beginning of the 20th century, the United States was about to embark on an era of transformation and innovation. America was focused inwardly on its growth, and the West was largely undeveloped. While Seattle, Washington, was fairly well-established, the city was still rife with opportunity, particularly for service-based businesses.

In 1907, two teenage entrepreneurs created what would become the world's largest package delivery service. Starting in a Seattle basement with a $100 loan, Claude Ryan and Jim Casey opened the American Messenger Company. With telephones and automobiles scarce, the company fulfilled a range of tasks, from running errands and carrying notes on foot or on bicycle, to making home deliveries for drugstore customers. Their fledgling business entered a competitive marketplace, facing numerous firms that also specialized in message and parcel delivery.

Already experienced in business when he began the company, Jim hired other teens as messengers, and his younger brother George joined the firm's leadership ranks. Operating under the principle of providing the best service at the lowest rates, the company prospered. Jim's steadfast commitment to reliability, courtesy, neatness, and high ethical standards helped establish the values that continue to guide UPS today.