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Teamsters voted overwhelmingly last week to authorize a strike, which means that if UPS and the union do not reach an agreement by the July 31 deadline, union leaders have approval to call for a work stoppage.

If the union does strike, it would massively disrupt the parcel industry, but many online retailers are likely already prepared. Eighty-nine percent are already using alternative carriers instead of UPS or FedEx. Their reason isn’t because of an impending strike, however. It’s because of speed and cost efficiency.

Teamsters workers authorize strike, but that doesn’t mean a strike is imminent

Ninety-seven percent of Teamsters members voted in favor of authorizing a strike. If UPS and the union do not reach an agreement by July 31, the union now has authorization from its members to strike.

However, this does not mean that a strike is imminent. The industry expected both the vote and the authorization. The union has stated for months its plans to strike if an agreement isn’t reached, and the vote confirms its intentions.

The two sides have made progress since starting negotiations in May. The union announced on Tuesday, June 20, that they had agreed to terms on all non-economic issues. This includes air conditioning on new vehicles and keeping more SurePost packages in the UPS ecosystem.

However, UPS and Teamsters still need to resolve key issues, including around wages and health and welfare benefits.

Read more about the Teamsters’ strike authorization here.

Retailers opting for speed, willing to diversify carriers

Large online retailers will heavily invest in two-day deliveries in the next two years. Nearly 75% plan to increase their delivery speeds, and 89% are currently using carriers other than FedEx and UPS. Fifty-eight percent of retailers expect to continue diversifying their carrier use.

The shift away from FedEx and UPS stemmed from the pandemic, but, 36% of retailers cite cost advantages as the reason to opt for alternative carriers.

While consumer preference for faster deliveries has slowed, nearly half of millennials would try a carrier promising faster delivery times.

Learn more here.

Diesel prices are on the rise for the first time in two months

For the first time since April 17, the average price of diesel rose, increasing by 2.1 cents and bumping the national average to $3.815 a gallon. In 2023, average diesel prices have only increased five times, with three instances occurring in January.

Overall, diesel prices are down nearly two dollars from 2022. California has seen the biggest decrease, with diesel prices $2.142 lower year to date, while the Rocky Mountain region has seen the lowest decrease in the last year at $1.75.

See the full breakdown here.

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