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UPS in talks to launch in-home delivery service for large goods

UPS in talks to launch in-home delivery service for large goods

Shipping giant UPS is in talks with a trucking company about a partnership to ship large consumer goods, a move that could help UPS gain an edge over competitors.

Reuters reports that UPS is in the early stages of talks with Werner Enterprises, a global freight shipping company, about a partnership that would allow UPS to begin in-home delivery for larger items such as appliances and fitness machines.

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UPS and its closest competitor, FedEx, both cap shipping weights at 150 pounds and do not do in-home delivery or installation for larger consumer goods. But UPS officials tell Reuters that the company could soon break in to all of these areas.

The company is looking to dominate "final mile" delivery, which refers to the final leg of a supply chain for products from a transportation hub to a consumer's home.

Werner Enterprises launched a "final mile" service as an app in 2016. It helps people to sign for packages and report damaged items or problems with shipping. It also allows drivers or dispatchers to contact consumers by phone ahead of deliveries.

The growing online shopping industry is fueling a surge in large-scale online purchases, which Transport Futures economist Noel Perry told Reuters it could become a $12 billion industry over the next decade, growing from $3.7 billion this year.

UPS Chief Operating Officer Jim Barber says the company can't afford to ignore the business opportunity represented by large-scale shipping of consumer goods any longer.

“You got bigger products moving through networks across the globe,” said Barber. “What we have to do is try and figure out the right way to get them in the right network as we move forward.”