Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

United Parcel Service Inc. reported financial results on Tuesday.

Patrick Semansky /The Associated Press

United Parcel Service Inc’s e-commerce fueled quarterly profit beat on Tuesday was overshadowed by news that Jim Barber, widely viewed as the world’s biggest parcel delivery firm’s next leader, would retire at year-end.

Shares in Atlanta-based UPS fell 3 per cent to $115.03 on news of the departure of Chief Operating Officer Barber, 59, who oversees the company’s global small package, freight, supply chain, freight forwarding and engineering, and was instrumental in the company’s turnaround.

“Investors assumed he was going to be the next CEO and this caught us by surprise. Unfortunately, the market does not like surprises,” Seaport Global analyst Kevin Sterling said.

Story continues below advertisement

Barber’s retirement comes just months after similar news from Chief Financial Officer Richard Peretz, ushering in big changes to the UPS C-suite at a time when cooling economies in Asia and Europe threaten global growth.

“We have a strong bench. Succession planning is something we constantly focus on,” Chief Executive David Abney said on a conference call with analysts.

UPS said Barber and Peretz will guide UPS through the key holiday peak shopping and shipping season, when the company’s daily volumes can double.

Profit was up 16 per cent to $1.75 billion for the third quarter. UPS earned $2.07 per share, excluding items, to top analysts’ average forecast by a penny, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The U.S. consumer continues to spend, bolstering online sales that fueled a 24 per cent rise in UPS Next Day Air U.S. delivery volume during the third quarter.

That business ticked up significantly during the summer, after UPS rival FedEx Corp’s breakup with online retailer Amazon.com Inc.

“It’s Amazon, but it’s beyond Amazon,” Abney said in a telephone interview with Reuters.

Story continues below advertisement

“Companies are competing on time. Next Day has become the standard. We see it in our Next Day Ground and our Next Day Air,” said Abney.

The company’s multi-billion-dollar investments in network upgrades shaved per-package costs by 2.5 per cent during the third quarter, helping to offset a 10.1 per cent drop in revenue per piece for domestic Next Day Air.

That deterioration in revenue per piece is likely due to the small packages that Amazon is shipping - including single bars of soap or deodorant, said Cathy Morrow Roberson, founder of consulting firm Logistics Trends & Insights.

Investors remain wary that the U.S.-China trade war could further dent global economies and UPS, whose international package group accounts for roughly 35 per cent of operating income.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies