UPS’s $20 Billion Tech Bet Was Scorned by Wall Street. Now It’s Paying Off

Robots and stocks. That was the conclusion a local wealth manager and I had as we drove to San Francisco to listen to Ben Bernanke speak some years ago. Recently, as in a few weeks ago, my son spoke of applying to UPS and FedEx for work as a baggage handler. At that time I thought “I sure hope he does well in his computer science major because the baggage handler jobs he applied to will eventually be replaced by robots.” Will, it appears that pace is quickening.

Another person in town suggested that if my son applies to work at UPS and FedEx, he should apply to the driver position citing better benefits and union representation. Again I thought “I sure hope he does well in his computer science major because the driver job will eventually be replaced by robots.” Guess what? This morning I also read an article about Google gaining Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clearance for drone deliveries: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-23/alphabet-s-drone-delivery-business-cleared-for-takeoff-by-faa
This is in addition to the prospect of driverless cars.

Robots and automation are coming. One might as well know how to design, use, and repair them as well as own stock in companies that do. But then again, one needs a job to earn enough money to purchase stock after paying for food, clothing, and shelter. Which job is the question – which job isn’t soon-to-be eliminated by robots? See this McKinsey article for some perspectives on that question: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet

Hope you find these reads informative.

-Dr. Moore

UPS’s $20 Billion Tech Bet Was Scorned by Wall Street. Now It’s Paying Off
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-23/ups-sees-payoff-from-20-billion-tech-bet-scorned-by-wall-street

2 thoughts on “UPS’s $20 Billion Tech Bet Was Scorned by Wall Street. Now It’s Paying Off

  1. Professor Moore,
    As a retiree from UPS, I would highly recommend your son to work part time as a package handler for this company that is serious about it’s mission of “every package, every day”. Yes, this incredibly efficient company will eventually go robotic. But it won’t happen in the next 4 to 5 years.
    It’s a great job to support paying for college. Your neighbor is ill informed as a perfect part of being a part time UPSer is that you receive full time benefits. Health, dental and vision coverage are a completely paid benefit. So are holidays and generous vacation pay. Part timers receive OT if over 5 hours are worked in a shift. (Helps keep the hours down for a serious student but rewards monetarily if the extra hours become necessary or chosen).
    Most importantly, UPS promotes from within. Drivers come from package handling, direct management comes from drivers. This means your son would already have his foot in the door for a well paying computer job with UPS after he graduates (and the chance to invest in employee discounted, dividend paying company stock). Even if he chose not to continue on with UPS, the fact that he could work with them would give him leverage in seeking positions at other companies.
    These types of things are the opportunity benefits of working while studying beyond the immediate paycheck.
    If your son is not afraid of very hard work, this job could greatly benefit him now and in the future.

  2. Thank you for the feedback from the field. It is good to hear from someone who has first-hand experience. Hope all is well with you out there and you get to use that HP 12C to calculate magnificent returns on your investments.

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