UPS Dividend Growth Analysis: Recent Dividend Freeze And Fuel Costs A Concern - Seeking Alpha Up until 2009, UPS was establishing itself as a strong dividend growth company. Rising fuel costs and an economic recession took a big toll on the company causing it to freeze its dividend for two years. The company also experienced a negative free cash flow in 2007, suggesting that management was not fully prepared to deal with the economic conditions of that time. Although financials appear to be back on track for the company, rising fuel costs could again have a strong effect on UPS's free cash flow in the near term. This negative affect would likely lead management to be conservative with upcoming dividend increases as they better prepare themselves for future macro economic challenges.