Super Small UPS Preloads and how they are operated

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by fightingthegoodfight, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. I am in a 1 belt 10-12 man preload and after coming from a MUCH larger center I can say that small centers suck!

    Everyone is so close and your either team managment or team union. our center is run by a tyrant bitch and were always fighting about contract and rights. Many write-up many grivences.

    Anyway if your in a small preload what is it like?
  2. tre305

    tre305 Member

    sounds like the key west center down here. so small no one really knows where its located. although i heard the preloaders go on break and can literally walk down to the beach for a smoke break

    but im in a somewhat small center. 7 unload doors (only use 6) no small sort, on a good day about 70-75 drivers on the road. before peak really kicked in our start time stayed at either 5:25-5:35 am daily. after 4 years a small operation is ok to me. ive been to our nearby hialeah hub which can literally fit about 3 of our centers inside of it and id really like to see that preload operation in action.
  3. Namraputs

    Namraputs Member

    1 unloader 7-8 drivers loading. Kinda small.
  4. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    We run 40ish routes. Guess that is a smaller preload.

    I have always been under the impression that the preload is the absolute hardest area for UPS to get the numbers right. The pressure on PT supes is enormous. It boggles my mind that even with most preloaders coming in and setting up their cars off the clock, unloaders setting up stands and rollers off the clock and no PCM, they still cannot make their numbers. Our local sort always makes their numbers and they have a daily PCM and no one works off the clock.

    I get that UPS uses the numbers to push managers to push their employees to do a better/faster job and all that, but I have NEVER seen our preload make their numbers. I get that never is a long time, but they have not made their numbers in the 15 years that I have worked at UPS.

    Plus, IE will come in and make it even worse. We have 2 unload doors that feed onto 1 belt. IE has those belts turned up faster than the main belt. This forces HUGE jams on the main belt. So many jams that IE added 2 feet of sheet metal to keep packages from being pushed off the belt. Now, instead of pushing stuff onto the floor, stuff gets crushed.

    By the time packages get to the scanners, boxes are 5 across the belt and frequently 2 high. Tempers flair, belt gets turned off.

    It would seem that the most efficient way that would also cause fewer damages would be to have the belts closest to the unload slower and belts farther, a bit faster. Unfortunately, our building was not designed to make that possible, so the carnage continues.

    It is really, really sad to see how many damages our unload 'system' causes every single day.
  5. Dr Greg

    Dr Greg New Member

    We have one belt, two feeder doors and typically about 25-30 routes. We do have a driver supe that is kind of a tyrant who has put the PT supes under a lot of pressure. Start time in seldom later than 5 but during peak we start at 3. I like it because most everyone knows everyone else and the camaraderie even between management and union is good.
  6. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    Two belts, five doors, ~40 employees; 9 - 12 in the unload, 7 - 9 on each belt, with 3 - 4 in "small sort".

    Because I am employed in a small center, coupled with the fact that UPS doesn't care, the responsibilities of each PT soup is ridiculous. Take me for example (I sense an opportunity for me to rant, so let me exploit it):

    I open the building and disable the alarms because I am the first one there in the morning.

    Then, I check the PFS workstation to make sure it is set to the proper sort (P1, not L1, S1, etc etc). If this is not right, no GSS scanners will work properly, and it is a real possibility that DIAD exports won't work, which means EDD may not reflect the current days dispatch.

    Then, I walk around the building to make sure the breakers are turned on: gas burners, personnel fans, feeder doors, lights, all that good stuff. Also, I swap the storage device that contains the hard-drive backup for every computer in the building, which is stored around 5AM. I also check the temperature of the server room, to make sure it is not overheating.

    Then, I open the High Value cage and process those - that takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. It's especially great when the parcels haven't been scanned in properly, and ETT shows no 'Customer Info' (which I use to create driver notification sheets). Or, even better, when the pickup HV's haven't even been scanned at all, and they don't even show up in the HRCS forecast/inbound feeder list.

    Then, I shutdown DCS and restart it, to check if any of the DIAD 4/5's are not 'connected' properly; if they are not, I go check them out - if they have the Windows hex error, I then AKX them to restart it, and put them back into their assigned slot.

    Then, I do the UDC Data Corrections for the building - typically around 250 - 300 a day. It's great, because I'm literally doing the same data corrections every day (the same streets, the same bulk stops) because: ... who knows why, but it's the same corrections every day.

    Then, I use the insanely archaic TFCS system to check the inbound pick list for the building where I am employed; I then check the DMS F&A forecast (which is never right at this time - 2 hours before the shift) and compare it with a number that I devise by using the following system: 100% long box = ~1800 pieces; 100% pup = ~1000 pieces. They never match, and I always tell the shift during the PCM that I will expect the "manual" amount of volume. The Forecast has a tendency to grow anywhere from 1 to 5 thousand during the actual shift, so that's another fact I try to "feel" out.

    Then, I go out in the yard (with my Orange cone and reflective vest, mind you) and verify the physical trailers against the inbound pick list; if there are any major discrepancies, I call the hubs that feed the small center where I am employed; I've also been known to call and complain about the 53' (damn you, PKGZ!!!) trailers. Seriously, the yard is tiny ... with a 53', our shifter is literally in the woods.

    I come back in, and print out several reports from GTS: something, something, and 492 - the District Morning Report; the DMR has a record of most centers and their statistics. The main statistic I'm concerned with is PPH, since that's my primary responsibility as I run the Unload. I look at it, try to figure out why we made it or missed it. Not because anyone asks me, but just because I'm curious.

    Then, I run a PFT report for Discrepancies that reports any DNED's from the previous day; maybe a board went down, or an honest mistake. I briefly check the report, and make sure no SurePost DDU's are on it - as that is my responsibility.

    Then, I setup the Unload - now, this is an old building, so we still have UNL extendo's and T-stands with roller sections; so, my setup is very different than most other buildings. I start UDC SPA on 5 separate computers - then I open the five bay doors that the feeders dock at; at this time in the morning, there is usually only one or two trailers docked. But, I open the rest because I know the "backlight" sometimes helps the feeder guys get a "light silhouette" and back up right the first time.

    Then, I use PFT to check for bulk stops; if there are any crazy ones, I inform the PDS who has probably stumbled in by now. Maybe he can create a "bulk route" that doesn't actually count towards SPC, to give the normal driver a break. Then again, maybe he can't - that driver probably won't be able to move through his car that day. I can only imagine the hell, but there's nothing else I can do.

    Then, I print out the DECR for several areas - yeah, there is a "post check" (which I actually do), but unless I have to write something up, doing it now saves me time. I also do the DOP/Yard Check now, because unless new inbound's happen, I can generally fudge the air trailer percentage(s).

    Then, I push out the Irreg carts (because we don't have the trains, damnit); one for each feeder door.

    Then, I generally take a crap - there's usually a 5 - 15 minute lull where I can't SPA packages because the PDS hasn't finalized the plan - that is to say, that once the plan is finalized, and DMS is restarted to load that plan, HIN's usually skip around a bit. So, at this point, my responsibilities are blocked until DMS restarts.

    Once DMS restarts, I SPA 20 - 100 send again boxes, in quick order, and push them next to the unload belts so I can have an hourly unload them. It is not lost on me that SPA'ing them is hourly work, but it's a win-lose: when I don't SPA them out, I am screamed at by people; when I SPA them out and throw them on the belt, I am grieved. So, the solution that my bosses and the hourlies have worked out is: I'll scan them, you can throw them on the belt. I'm not saying that it's right or wrong, but that's the system I inherited.

    Then, I go to Small Sort and setup their GSS scanners (because we process SurePost in Small Sort), and log in to UDC SPA.

    Then, I go over the Staffing sheet - depending on the volume that I "see", my bosses have asked me to come up with a plan as to how many "we" need in specific areas - as an example, do I need 3 doors and 9 guys, 4 doors with 12 guys, or 3 doors with 10 guys? They leave that up to me. So, I make a best guess, submit my plan to the PDS, and prepare for the shift ... which will start in about 25 minutes.

    The PDS restarts DMS. I rapidly SPA the high values, throw an extra Slap on my notification sheets, check the Send Agains, and steal all the tape-guns I can find. Hourlies start to trickle in, I take attendance - because, when a preloader fails to show up, they steal people from the unload - which, at a certain point, means I have to work. So, I want to know as soon as possible if I am going to work or not.

    There's probably a million other things, but this is probably most of it. Dude, small centers suck - I'm sure large centers suck, too, but because of reduced manpower, the responsibilities on the capable individuals is pretty overwhelming.
  7. iruhnman630

    iruhnman630 Active Member

    My building is 3 centers, 8 belts plus tractor-trailer doors, about 40 inbound doors.....

    The first time I, as a young UPSer, saw a small center while on a ski trip in Colorado (Glenwood Springs??...there is a hot spring pool nearby) I laughed at how their building was the size of our automotive shop.
  8. tre305

    tre305 Member

    geez dude you sound like you do the job of our OMS clerks plus the stuff the ladies in the office do (when they do come in about 2-3 hours after the preload has started) and then some.

    and to think i wanted to look into becoming an OMS clerk at one time, but if it entails even half of those job duties then id have to be coming in as our reload is wrapping up to get started.
  9. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    The stuff in the morning (printing/distributing call tags, answering phones, EAM's, etc), yep ... do a bit of that to. COPS is terrible, especially when the label paper gets jammed in the printer. That's fun.

    Being an OMS can be fun - ask TearsInRain. It just depends on the center you are employed in.
  10. cosmo1

    cosmo1 Just another internet hooligan.

    TIR knows nothing. You, on the other hand...
  11. Funfact

    Funfact Well-Known Member

    There are 3 building in my local.

    The building I started at has 20-25 routes on a given day.
    ups pitts.jpg

    The one I'm working in now has to center and 100-120 routes on any given day.
    ups spring.jpg

    The other building I have worked out of on occasion has about 20 routes but most of the time less.

    ups deer.jpg

    The politics at each building are different however on a good note isn't very much tension in the air...
    ups pitts.jpgups spring.jpgups deer.jpg
  12. TearsInRain

    TearsInRain part-time bossman

    the best part about being an OMS is that there are only a few set responsibilities, so depending on how small/large the center is, and how hard you want to work, you can do anything from just answering phones to being a mini-center manager

    hey man, there's this pickup i need you to go make, i know it's on the other side of town, but i'm going to keep spamming response required messages and ODS-A's to you until you go

    btw, you're INSTRUCTED TO

  13. IslandGirl

    IslandGirl Guest

    I agree..that COPS program/ terrible..have to be so careful with those call tags printing..and so is the 'ECM' program/app..or as I refer to it..the "Whiner Channel"..LOL..'other'?..what the H does that mean?
    The first 2-3 hours are intense..and unfortunately,everyone wants to talk over days events time..if I have time..I will go to that person ..later..I miss so much of the general camaderie that goes on in the a.m..but there's so much to be done..and usually,the afternoon shift has left a million pieces of paper lying idea if any of it check on all that too...
    And then we start in with the air meets..up to 14-15 now..and the phone rings and rings..

    Like I said before..I use up my 10,000 words everyday..
  14. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    I'll use this opportunity to complain.

    The AM OMS in the center where I am employed is out for a few weeks, and I am covering for her ... god damnit general populace, do you not understand I've been awake since 1AM, at work since 2AM, and am a rabbit hair away from snapping? And this is a normal day?

    Honestly, if I get one more phone call about "can you give me a delivery window", I'm going to ask for an address, meet the driver out there, and we will both hurt someone. Stop it; just ... stop it.

    Oh, and the call tags. Yeah, I got the memo today about the "10 at a time" thing - you know what, anyone with a brain has known the ten-at-a-time trick for awhile now. Glad you could join the party.

    Just .. ahh .. I'm .. I can't do it. Preload & OMS = loony bin.

    edit: Oh, there's someone at the customer counter.
  15. Ms.PacMan

    Ms.PacMan Well-Known Member


    10AM message - Can you tell me what time you'll be at 123 Elm Ave load #7640.
    Me - WAG (wild ass guess) 1400 - 1800.
    10:10AM (5 air left) - Thx - Can you narrow that down at all?
    Me - No
    10:20AM (2 air left) - Can you check to make sure it was loaded on the right truck?
    Me - No