As I drink my morning coffee and listen to both my wife and dog snore, I decided to write a little in Brown Cafe. I value everyones opinion and look forward to reading responses. A topic that is mentioned in various threads is UPSs long-term outlook. Let me begin by saying that I believe UPS has a good outlook. However, there are many issues we need to deal with. Lets look at the airlines. What has forced all the legacy carriers into bankruptcy? High fuel costs, competition, labor costs and pension obligations. Hmm, sounds familiar doesnt it? UPS is at risk due to the same circumstances. However, we also have strengths that the airlines dont. 1. Diversification. Supply chain solutions is growing fast. Even if our ground business went under (which I dont think it will) UPS will continue as a going concern strictly on its SCS operation. 2. Brand recognition. How much do think the UPS name and brown color is worth. Everyone knows the brown uniform and everyone loves the UPS driver. 3. Evolution. I have only been here 10 years, but I have seen UPS evolve. We are no longer the brown bear Competition has forces us to evolve into a more customer focused organization. We are losing market share, but we are not losing business. We are not delivering fewer packages, and we will continue to evolve. Our problems. 1. Fuel costs. Not sure how much more we can do about this. We hedge, tack on a fuel surcharge, put on rev limiters, and roll out fuel efficient vehicles. In the big scheme of things, America needs to reduce its overall demand for fossil fuels. Its going to run out eventually, so why not start now? 2. Labor issues. This could take up pages of comments. There are issues on both sides and I have no idea what the solution is. In an ideal world, we would all be partners in the business with an equal share. We would fire the rotten apples whatever their job title was, and work as a team to meet our customers needs. In reality, there is mistrust, egos, contracts, and politics to deal with. To meet our competition, something needs to happen. Either their workforce becomes Unionized, or we start working better with ours. I have said previously that I believe our workforce is paid fairly and received outstanding benefits. If there are legitimate issues, raise them, but dont just demand a 10% raise because you can. 3. Going Public. Im sure there are many good reasons we went public. But, there were also drawbacks. Our thinking has been reduced to quarters rather than decades. No-brainer decisions have been reduced to can we push that off until next quarter? . I dont care if the stock price goes down this quarter. I care about the stock price in 20 years when I retire. If it goes down this quarter, Ill buy more, as long as I am confident that the long term outlook is good. 4. Competition. No other ways to put it- There are cheaper ways to ship a package out there. Do they do it better? Not yet. Will they? Only time will tell. Our workforce, methods, and technology will help us compete. Their labor costs will rise as well. If I were a manager for DHL or Fedex ground I would be embarrassed by the appearance of my workforce. Theyre sloppy, the vehicles are junk, and just dont appear professional like our UPS ladies and gentleman do. As I said before, there are issuesso lets work through them and move on. In conclusion, I believe there are considerable risks to UPSs future. Will it survive? Yes, I think it will, but only if we work together. What is your opinion and solution? (I hoping this doesn't turn into a "management sucks" versus "union sucks" thread. There's enough out there already!