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The Flattening Continues: Don’t Let Geography Hold You Back

As a four-year old, I took my first international flight in the early 1970s on a flight to Singapore from Bombay (and yes, my birth certificate will always say Bombay, not Mumbai). That trip inspired my lifelong fascination with airplanes and travel. I’ve been fortunate to have lived, been educated and worked in cities such as Bombay, Bangalore, Jakarta, Daytona Beach, Chicago and Atlanta. My interest in companies that “connect the world” shaped my choices and a career that has included working for the world’s largest airline, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, and now, a global leader in logistics and transportation solutions.

In February 2013 the UPS Airlines celebrated its 25th anniversary.   On its wings, we embarked on two major global service offerings.  In January 2013 UPS Worldwide Express Freight™ was launched with service from 37 origin countries and to 41 destination countries.  And our Worldwide Expedited® small-package offering just tripled from roughly 70 to more than 220 countries around the globe.  No small feat, but all in stride for the more than 400,000 employees of UPS that work together to embrace and solve the complex logistics challenges of moving millions of packages and pallets daily across continents.

It has been more than seven years since Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat featured UPS as a “flattener.” While there might be disagreement among experts about the world being flat or “spiky,” the impact of globalization and its various iterations can be felt every day. Two years ago on a long flight back from China, it struck me – here I was an Indian-American, flying on a Korean airline, who stayed at a Dubai-based hotel chain and visited factories in China operated  by Japanese, Taiwanese and U.S. companies—including one run by a German national on an expatriate assignment. Globalization, as the saying goes, is alive and well.

As global leaders make progress towards removing trade barriers, as new free trade agreements are signed, as companies look to expand their markets, and as consumers look for alternatives beyond their borders, our shipping and logistics services are critical enablers.

They address our customers’ need to adapt to the realities of the current global economic conditions.   On one hand, UPS Worldwide Express Freight enables companies to move their heavyweight, palletized shipments with the velocity necessary to address demand spikes and other operational emergencies that can wreak havoc with their supply chains.  For less-urgent shipments of packages, UPS Worldwide Expedited enables customers to take advantage of e-commerce opportunities that open up new markets around the globe.

UPS customers have been benefiting from getting their products moved from Jamaica to Sri Lanka and from South Africa to Russia, and hundreds of countries in between since our first international shipment in 1975.  Let the flattening continue.  We are committed to making sure that geography doesn’t hold anyone back.

Category: Business Insights
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