Switch From FedEx Express to UPS? What would YOU do?

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by NW_Nutmegger, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. NW_Nutmegger

    NW_Nutmegger New Member

    A little background with a follow up question for you fine folks in brown.

    I'm 44 years old, married with 3 kids (16, 14, 12) and have been a full time courier with FedEx Express for 16 years.

    I was hired in late 2003 making $14.00 per hour and after our last underwhelming 2% raise in October 2019, I'm now making $26.19 per hour...that's $12.19 per hour increase in 16 years...a whoppin' 76 cents per year.

    Here's the thing: I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I'm still not topped out...and it really, really bothers me.

    After the new Express "10 Step Progression Chart" was implemented a few years ago, I'm now currently on the 8th step and won't arrive at the top out mark ($29.00 in our market) until October of 2021...the end of my 18th year.

    I say all that to say this: for the past few years I've spoken to many UPS drivers in my area about the pay, pension, benefits and overall culture of UPS and I've contemplated making the move. All of it -- especially the medical benefits -- blow away Express.

    I don't pretend to ignore the fact that UPS works a hell of a lot harder than us folks over at Express, due to the simple fact that UPS is Ground and Air combined and your trucks (for the most part) are way more bulked out than ours.

    I realize that I would have to begin in the warehouse/hub and become a package handler for awhile before I would get a crack at being a driver.

    I also realize that I would have to give up my 4 weeks of vacation, current seniority, comfort of one route, and take a pay cut in the beginning to cross over to brown, but I'm so fed up (no pun intended) with how much of a gap in pay and benefits there is between the two of us.

    According to the UPS drivers around my area, they top out at around $40.00 an hour after 4 years. This is extremely tempting.

    My question to all of you is this: would YOU make the switch if you were in MY shoes?

    Looking forward to reading your comments.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  2. bacha29

    bacha29 Well-Known Member

    If you think you've got it bad where you're at now go work for a Ground contractor. In many if not most cases it's about half what you're currently being paid per hour and very little if anything in the way of employer funded benefits. Still want to go to UPS?
  3. silenze

    silenze Lunch is the best part of the day

    No. Your too old for ups. You can't afford to take any steps backwards.
    Can't you become a RTD at FedEx? Then with your new skills and CDL you could eventually work somewhere else
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  4. FedEx GT

    FedEx GT Active Member

    I can possibly give a little insight here. I was a ground contractor that sold my routes, I then bought another business and sold that. I enjoyed the package and delivery business while I did it and worked this peak for the guy that bought my routes.
    There was a 22.4 position that UPS is hiring for so I applied and will be starting very soon. From what I have seen so far, the area is vastly condensed compared to Express and Ground (obviously) but the pace and size/volume of packages (compared to Express) is a huge difference.
    Getting on as a package handler to get to drive could take a substantial amount of time depending on the center and after that from what I understand you have to still start at the same 22.4 position that you are currently qualified for to get into the position of an RPCD. There is no timetable for a full route to open so I have no idea if I’ll be 1 year or 5 in the current position but for the pension and amazing health care it is worth it for me. Also they are very short on feeder drivers so after a year there is opportunity to do that and be making that $42+ per hour in 3 more years.
    Only you know what your body will hold up to, you will work a lot harder. You also have to go in knowing that it won’t be 4 years to be making $40+ probably closer to 6-10 if you start on the belt.
    With what you said, if you do in fact have the opportunity to top out next year that may be your safer bet. If you still want to jump ship, wait for a “combo position” 22.4 and apply to that instead of belt.
    Good luck in your decision
  5. NW_Nutmegger

    NW_Nutmegger New Member

    Thanks for the insightful comment. Much appreciated.

    The reality is that even if I got the UPS package handler position this year at the age of 44 and had to wait even 2 years to become a driver, it would then take me 4 years to top out and I would be 50 years old. Yikes.

    I almost feel like I'm flirting with a low level 'mid-life crisis' experience where I'm so disappointed with sticking around Express for so long (and not topping out yet) and I'm trying desperately to change my course for the next 20 years before retiring in my early 60's.

    Oh well, it sure helps to read other perspectives out there regarding my situation.
  6. zubenelgenubi

    zubenelgenubi Well-Known Member

    You would need a minimum of 5 years to vest in the pension. If you got hired on this year, you would not be eligible for retirement until you were 62 with 18 years in. That might get a you a decent monthly pension check, but it probably won't be enough to do more than survive off.

    There would be no guarantee that you would get into driving any time in the near future if you started inside part time. It would take you so long to get back to what you are making now, that you would have to work a long time at 40/hr to make up the difference.

    My advice, if you really want to take that path, is to apply to any outside hire driving position posted by UPS. That will be your best hope this late in life to get reasonable outcome to making that leap.

    The next best thing would be to shop around for another decent paying day job, then apply for inside part time. That way you are still fairly well covered for both income and benefits. You can still bid into driving if you want, but it'll get harder and harder trying to qualify the older you get.

    I don't know, I would probably stay where you are, or look elsewhere (besides UPS) if you really need to make a change.
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  7. zeev

    zeev Active Member

    Get your CDL Express offers free training , you have to make yourself more valuable, between low pay ground and Amazon the future is bleak for small package delivery drivers
  8. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    You’ll be divorced and paying child support/alimony in six months and taking home far less than you are now.

    So, yeah, go for it!
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  9. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Midlife crisis? Find somewhere to volunteer. Teen center, community center, park district, anything like that. Seriously. It’ll pay you far more than increased pay. I’m not exaggerating.
  10. You have too much to lose by switching over.
    First of all you won't have any health insurance for 9 months. It would be highly unlikely that you would ever see the $40 with the new two tier wages we have now.
    It will also take you working another 15 years before you get 4 weeks of vacation.
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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
  11. dezguy

    dezguy Well-Known Member

    At this point, in my life, I wouldn't.

    I'm topped out and granted, UPS makes about $6 more an hour, where I am and have far superior bennies and pension, I would still lose time off in the summer and at Christmas by giving up my seniority. Add to the fact my body is already pretty beaten up, being forced to work 12-14 hour shifts until I could get on the 9.5 list, doesn't sound appealing.

    I do wish I would have started with UPS, back when I was a kid. I would have been looking at maybe 10 more years of work had I started there when I took a job with Express but it is what it is and making the switch now wouldn't make sense for me.
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  12. 59 Dano

    59 Dano I just want to make friends!

    Wouldn't make the change if I were in your shoes. You'd give up too much for too long. Your kids are at the age where having 4 weeks of PTO is more valuable than you'll ever know. The other guy said that a change may be warranted but UPS probably isn't it. You've got 20 or 25 years of work left in you. Don't spend them trying to catch up.
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  13. burrheadd

    burrheadd KING Of GIFS

    or get a gooma
  14. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    not sure how that helps but ok!
  15. Indecisi0n

    Indecisi0n Well-Known Member

    How does does someone work for a company for 16 years and not top out? That's crazy.
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  16. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Because labor and laborers are expendable. That’s how companies look at us whether they choose to dress it up or not.
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  17. It will be fine

    It will be fine Well-Known Member

    It’s an easy job to fill. What’s strange is having a pay progression at all.
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  18. Indecisi0n

    Indecisi0n Well-Known Member

    Nothing about being expendable. I am just curious how their guidelines on look on paper. Sounds very complicated.
  19. McFeely

    McFeely Huge Member

    I'd have to agree with most here and say stick it out at Express or just leave to a different company/industry if you can. Starting at UPS in your mid-40s and hoping to get a regular route quickly is just tough.

    I'm a similar age as you, but I've only been with Express <10 years. I know how this job already beats up my body, so I don't know if I could handle what UPS drivers do for 20 more years. I interviewed with UPS years ago and had to decline when I found out I'd be a handler for close to 3-4 years before I ever got to be a driver. That's why I ended up with Express.

    Hopefully you have been saving aggressively for retirement. $26/hr doesn't sound like a ton to live on and retire, but it can be done if you've done the right things savings-wise over the years. It is bull:censored2: that Express hasn't topped you and many others out by now, but it is what it is.
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  20. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    Because of weaselly people like Fred S. and the many broken promises he's created.