United Parcel Service 10-K 2011
Documents found in this filing:
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FOR ANNUAL AND TRANSITION REPORTS
PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 001-15451
United Parcel Service, Inc.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
(Registrants telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Class A common stock, par value $.01 per share
(Title of Class)
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes ¨ No þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See definition of accelerated filer, large accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. Check one:
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ¨ No þ
The aggregate market value of the class B common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $41,146,287,739 as of June 30, 2010. The registrants class A common stock is not listed on a national securities exchange or traded in an organized over-the-counter market, but each share of the registrants class A common stock is convertible into one share of the registrants class B common stock.
As of February 15, 2011, there were 252,287,206 outstanding shares of class A common stock and 734,831,168 outstanding shares of class B common stock.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrants definitive proxy statement for its annual meeting of shareowners scheduled for May 5, 2011 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS
United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) is the worlds largest package delivery company, a leader in the U.S. less-than-truckload industry, and a global leader in supply chain management. We were founded in 1907 as a private messenger and delivery service in Seattle, Washington. Today, we deliver packages each business day for 1.1 million shipping customers to 7.4 million consignees in over 220 countries and territories. In 2010, we delivered an average of 15.6 million pieces per day worldwide, or a total of 3.94 billion packages. Total revenue in 2010 was $49.5 billion.
Our primary business is the time-definite delivery of packages and documents worldwide. The UPS service portfolio also includes global supply chain services and less-than-truckload transportation, primarily in the United States. We report our operations in three segments: U.S. Domestic Package operations, International Package operations, and Supply Chain & Freight operations.
Transportation and Infrastructure. We operate a ground fleet of approximately 99,800 vehicles, which reaches all business and residential zip codes in the contiguous U.S. We also operate an air fleet of 527 aircraft, and we are one of the largest airlines in the world. Our primary air hub is in Louisville, Kentucky. Regional air hubs are located in Hartford, Connecticut; Ontario, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Rockford, Illinois. Our largest international air hub is in Cologne, Germany, with other regional international hubs in Miami, Florida; Canada; Hong Kong; Singapore; Taiwan; and China.
We operate a global transportation infrastructure and offer a comprehensive portfolio of services. We support these services with advanced operational and customer-facing technology. Our supply chain solutions enable customers inventory to move more effectively. As a consequence, they can concentrate on their own core competencies.
Outlook. Mixed economic results in 2010, combined with improving economic forecasts as the year ended, lead us to believe that the following trends will allow us to continue to grow our business over the long-term:
Our vision for the future is to synchronize the world of commerce, addressing the complexities of our customers supply chain needs. Our goal is to develop business solutions that create value and competitive advantages for our customers, enabling them to achieve supply chain efficiencies, better customer service for their customers and improved cash flows.
We believe that our integrated global network is the most extensive in the industry. It is the only network that handles all levels of service (air, ground, domestic, international, commercial, residential) through one integrated pickup and delivery service system. All packages are commingled throughout their journey through our network, except when necessary to meet their specific service commitments.
U.S. Domestic Package
The U.S. business consists of air and ground delivery of small packagesup to 150 pounds in weightand letters to and from all 50 states. It also provides guaranteed, time-definite delivery of certain heavyweight packages. Substantially all of our U.S. small package delivery services are guaranteed.
The integrated air and ground pick-up and delivery network on which this business is built improves productivity and asset utilization, and provides the flexibility to transport packages using the most reliable and cost-effective transportation mode or combination of modes.
In 2010, UPS completed the second phase of a multi-year expansion of the fully automated Worldport® air hub in Louisville, KY, our largest air hub. Worldport® sort capacity has been expanded to 416,000 packages per houra 37% increase. This expansion enables more cost-effective package processing and enables the use of larger, more fuel efficient aircraft.
During the first quarter of 2010, UPS completed a restructuring of its U.S. package operations. With this new structure, we now have the opportunity to better deliver the value our solutions bring to small and medium-sized customers.
In 2009, we expanded our early morning delivery service. UPS now delivers earlier to more businesses and zip codes in the United States, and earlier to more countries from the United States, than our competitors.
We believe that our broad product portfolio, reliable package delivery service, experienced and dedicated employees and unmatched, integrated air and ground network provide us with the advantages of reputation, service quality and economies of scale that differentiate us from our competitors. Our strategy is to increase domestic revenue through cross-selling services to our large and diverse customer base, to control costs through effective network modification and limited expense growth, and to employ technology-driven efficiencies to increase operating profit.
The International Package segment provides air and ground delivery of small packages and letters to more than 220 countries and territories around the world. Export services cross country boundaries; domestic services move shipments within a countrys borders. UPSs global presence grew out of its highly refined U.S. domestic business.
We have built a strong international presence through significant investments over several decades. Some of our recent acquisitions and investments include the following:
Growth in Asia is being driven by global demand, which is stimulating improved demographic and economic trends throughout the region, particularly in China. Over the last few years, UPS has steadily increased air service between the U.S. and Asia.
The international package delivery market has been growing at a faster rate than that of the U.S., and our international package operations have historically been growing faster than the market. We plan to use our worldwide infrastructure and broad product portfolio to grow high-margin premium services. Additionally, we plan to expand our non-U.S. domestic package operations by continuing to build our package delivery infrastructure and through acquisitions in certain countries. We have been and will continue to implement cost, process and technology improvements in our international operations. We believe that both Europe and Asia offer significant opportunities for long-term growth.
Supply Chain & Freight
The Supply Chain & Freight segment consists of our forwarding and logistics capabilities as well as our UPS Freight business unit.
Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex. Many of our customers, large and small, have outsourced all or part of their supply chains to streamline and gain efficiencies, to improve service, to support new business models and to strengthen their balance sheets.
This increasing complexity creates demand for a global service offering that incorporates transportation, distribution and international trade and brokerage services with financial and information services. We can meet that demand because:
UPS Freight is an LTL service, which offers a full range of regional, inter-regional and long-haul LTL capabilities in all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Mexico. This business also offers a TL service. UPS Freight provides services through a network of owned and leased service centers and carrier partnerships.
Our growth strategy is to increase the number of customers benefiting from configurable supply chain solutions, particularly in the healthcare, technology, and retail sectors, and to increase the amount of small package transportation from these customers. We intend to leverage our small package and freight customers through cross-selling the full complement of UPS services.
Products and Services
Our goal is to provide our customers with easy-to-use products and services. We seek to streamline their shipment processing and integrate critical transportation information into their own business processes, helping them create supply chain efficiencies, better serve their customers and improve their cash flows. These products and services support LTL and air freight shipments, as well as small package transportation. UPS offers a variety of technology solutions for automated shipping, visibility and billing. We believe we have the most comprehensive suite of such services in the industry.
Global Small Package. Our global small package portfolio consists of a spectrum of export and domestic services. Export services are those provided for packages crossing a countrys borders, while domestic services are for packages that stay within the borders of a single country. We provide domestic express services in 55 countries outside the United States. This portfolio includes guaranteed delivery options to major cities around the world. We handle packages that weigh up to 150 pounds and are up to 165 inches in combined length and girth. We offer same-day pickup of air and ground packages. We also offer worldwide customs clearance service for any mode of transportation.
Additional products that provide enhanced shipping, visibility, billing and return services are available to customers who require customized package solutions.
Our enhanced, data-driven package pick-up and delivery technology is the basis for new services introduced in recent years. For example, UPS introduced a unique paperless invoice service for international small package shippers that integrates order processing, shipment preparation and commercial invoice data and then transmits that data to customs offices across the globe, eliminating the need for paper commercial invoices. Another offering, UPS Returns®, is the first industry offering that facilitates international commerce for any size customer by simplifying package returns to 98 countries or territories. Package recipients can obtain international return labels and commercial invoices via e-mail, local post or from a UPS driver picking up the return package.
In 2010, UPS introduced UPS Smart Pickup® a new option for shippers who want the convenience of a scheduled pickup but may not ship a package everyday. This is the latest in a series of UPS Decision GreenSM offerings, this high-tech service alerts UPS drivers when a pickup needs to be made.
We provide our customers with easy access to UPS, with over 150,000 domestic and international access points including: 40,000 branded drop-boxes, 1,000 UPS customer centers, 4,700 independently owned and operated The UPS Store® and Mail Boxes Etc.® locations worldwide, 16,000 authorized shipping outlets and commercial counters, and 88,400 UPS drivers who can accept packages given to them.
Supply Chain Services. Our freight forwarding and logistics businesses meet customers supply chain needs through a comprehensive portfolio of services, including:
In 2008, UPS launched a new, simplified global portfolio for shipping air freight, with guaranteed day-specific, door-to-door service as well as non-guaranteed service options.
Freight Services. UPS Freight provides LTL services through a network of owned and leased service centers and carrier partnerships. UPS Freight also provides our customers with truckload and dedicated truckload transportation solutions. Since expanding into the freight transport market, we have enhanced our value proposition through improvements in technology, operations and the customer experience. Significant service and reliability improvements for freight transportation enabled us to implement a no-fee, guaranteed delivery service in early 2008 and we expanded it to Canadian deliveries later in the year. In 2009, UPS Freight began offering door-to-door service to and from Mexico, complete with UPS customs brokerage capabilities and single invoicing for all services between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 2010, UPS Freight continued the acceleration of transit times when 150 U.S. and Canada lanes were improved. Over the last two years, we have made a total of 1,100 lane improvements.
Technology is the backbone of everything we do at UPS. It is at the heart of customer access to our company.
Technology is also the foundation for process improvements within UPS that enhance productivity, improve efficiency and reduce costs. In recent years, we completed the most comprehensive improvement to our U.S. small package handling facilities. This multi-year effort re-engineered our domestic business, based on a data-driven platform, and included software, hardware and process changes. It enables a package center to produce an optimized dispatch plan for every driver and detailed loading instructions for every vehicle before center employees handle any packages. This plan reduces mileage driven, resulting in substantial fuel savings. The re-engineered system provides the basis for unique customer-focused services based on the customer-specific data which powers the system.
A new technology we began deploying in 2008 is telematics, which combines information from our drivers hand-held computers with GPS and automotive sensors to help us better manage our ground fleet operations. It helps us improve vehicle maintenance, enhance safety and fine-tune delivery and pick-up service. This technology also improves on-road performance by reducing vehicle expense, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions. Since 2008, we have equipped approximately 24,000 of our U.S. vehicles with the sensors needed to achieve the benefits from this technology.
Our business strategy and corporate responsibility strategy are substantially the same: to increase the economic vitality and environmental sustainability of the global economy by aggregating the shipping activity of millions of businesses and individuals worldwide into a single highly efficient logistics network. The website www.sustainability.ups.com provides complete information on this strategy. This approach:
We continually strive to improve our efficiencies and reduce the overall energy and emissions intensity of our global distribution network.
At UPS, we recognize our management approach for avoiding energy use and emissions as decarbonization synergy. This means we simultaneously pursue multiple strategies for carbon avoidance, in a way that makes each one stronger and more effective than it would be on its own. A simple, yet powerful, example of decarbonization synergy at UPS is our ability to handle all categories of service (express, ground, domestic, international, commercial, residential) through one integrated pickup and delivery service system. We believe our integrated network is a competitive advantage, therefore, we are able to use all assets more efficiently and achieve far greater carbon avoidance.
Sales and Marketing
The UPS worldwide sales organization is responsible for the complete spectrum of UPS products and services. Our sales force includes specialized groups that work with our general sales organization to support UPS subsidiaries and specialized products.
In early 2010, we completed a streamlining of the U.S. Domestic Package operations, and as part of the restructuring, we expanded our outreach to customers by strengthening local sales and marketing efforts.
Our worldwide marketing organization, which was also reorganized in 2010, supports our global small package, supply chain and freight businesses. Our corporate marketing function is engaged in market and customer research, brand management, segment management, rate-making and revenue management policy, pricing, new product development, product portfolio management, marketing alliances, and technology marketing, including the non-technical aspect of our web presence. Advertising, public relations, brand management, and most formal marketing communications are generally centrally developed and controlled.
In addition to our corporate marketing group, field-based marketing personnel are assigned to our individual operating units and are primarily engaged in business planning, market analysis and opportunity identification, segment management, and customer profitability management.
In 2011, we are implementing a major sales force reorganization to better align our sales resources with customer business processes along industry verticals. Our goal is to enhance the customer experience when dealing with the extensive scope of UPS capabilities at any point in the shipping or supply chain management process.
We had approximately 400,600 employees as of December 31, 2010, of which 330,600 are in the U.S. and 70,000 are located internationally.
As of December 31, 2010, we had approximately 250,000 employees employed under a national master agreement and various supplemental agreements with local unions affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters). These agreements run through July 31, 2013.
We have approximately 2,800 pilots who are employed under a collective bargaining agreement with the Independent Pilots Association, which becomes amendable at the end of 2011. Our airline mechanics are covered by a collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local 2727, which became amendable in November 2006. We began formal negotiations with Teamsters Local 2727 in October 2006, and have been under the guidance of the National Mediation Board since January 2008. In January 2011, we reached a tentative agreement with Teamsters Local 2727 which will run through November 1, 2013 when ratified. In addition, the majority (approximately 3,300) of our ground mechanics who are not employed under agreements with the Teamsters are employed under collective bargaining agreements with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). Our agreement with the IAM runs through July 31, 2014.
We believe that our relations with our employees are good. We periodically survey all our employees to determine their level of job satisfaction. Areas of concern receive management attention as we strive to keep UPS the employer of choice among our employees.
We consistently receive numerous awards and wide recognition as an employer-of-choice, resulting in part from our emphasis on diversity and corporate citizenship.
We are the largest package delivery company in the world, in terms of both revenue and volume. We offer a broad array of services in the package and freight delivery industry and, therefore, compete with many different local, regional, national and international companies. Our competitors include worldwide postal services, various motor carriers, express companies, freight forwarders, air couriers and others. Through our supply chain service offerings, we compete with a number of participants in the supply chain, financial services and information technology industries.
Our competitive strengths include:
Integrated Global Network. We believe that our integrated global ground and air network is the most extensive in the industry. It is the only network that handles all levels of service (air, ground, domestic, international, commercial, residential) through a single pickup and delivery service system.
Our sophisticated engineering systems allow us to optimize our network efficiency and asset utilization on a daily basis. This unique, integrated global business model creates consistent and superior returns.
We believe we have the most comprehensive integrated delivery and information services portfolio of any carrier in Europe. In other regions of the world, we rely on both our own and local service providers capabilities to meet our service commitments.
Global Presence. UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories around the world. We have a presence in all of the major economies and are among the leaders in most of them.
Leading-edge Technology. We are a global leader in developing technology that helps our customers optimize their shipping and logistics business processes to lower costs, improve service and increase efficiency.
Technology powers virtually every service we offer and every operation we perform. Our technology initiatives are driven by our customers needs. We offer a variety of on-line service options that enable our customers to integrate UPS functionality into their own businesses not only to conveniently send, manage and track their shipments, but also to provide their customers with better information services. We provide the infrastructure for an Internet presence that extends to tens of thousands of customers who have integrated UPS tools directly into their own web sites.
Broad Portfolio of Services. Our portfolio of services enables customers to choose the delivery option that is most appropriate for their requirements. Increasingly, our customers benefit from business solutions that integrate many UPS services in addition to package delivery. For example, our supply chain servicessuch as freight forwarding, customs brokerage, order fulfillment, and returns managementhelp improve the efficiency of the supply chain management process.
Customer Relationships. We focus on building and maintaining long-term customer relationships. We serve 1.1 million pick-up customers and 7.4 million delivery customers daily. Cross-selling small package, supply chain and freight services across our customer base is an important growth mechanism for UPS.
Brand Equity. We have built a leading and trusted brand that stands for quality service, reliability and product innovation. The distinctive appearance of our vehicles and the friendliness and helpfulness of our drivers are major contributors to our brand equity.
Distinctive Culture. We believe that the dedication of our employees results in large part from our distinctive employee-owner concept. Our employee stock ownership tradition dates from 1927, when our
founders, who believed that employee stock ownership was a vital foundation for successful business, first offered stock to employees. To facilitate employee stock ownership, we maintain several stock-based compensation programs.
Our long-standing policy of promotion from within complements our tradition of employee ownership, and this policy reduces the need for us to hire managers and executive officers from outside UPS. The majority of our management team began their careers as full-time or part-time hourly UPS employees, and have spent their entire careers with us. Many of our executive officers have more than 30 years of service with UPS and have accumulated a meaningful ownership stake in our company. Therefore, our executive officers have a strong incentive to effectively manage UPS, which benefits all our shareowners.
Financial Strength. Our balance sheet reflects financial strength that few companies can match. As of December 31, 2010, we had a balance of cash and marketable securities of approximately $4.081 billion and shareowners equity of $8.047 billion. Our Moodys and Standard & Poors short-term credit ratings are P-1 and A-1+, respectively, and our Moodys and Standard & Poors long-term credit ratings are Aa3 and AA-, respectively. We have a stable outlook from Moodys and Standard & Poors. We have a strong capacity to service our obligations. Our financial strength gives us the resources to achieve global scale; to invest in employee development, technology, transportation equipment and buildings; to pursue strategic opportunities that facilitate our growth; and to return value to our shareowners in the form of dividends and share repurchases.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), have regulatory authority over United Parcel Service Co.s (UPS Airlines) air transportation services. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958, as amended, is the statutory basis for DOT and FAA authority and the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001, as amended, is the basis for TSA aviation security authority.
The DOTs authority primarily relates to economic aspects of air transportation, such as discriminatory pricing, non-competitive practices, interlocking relations and cooperative agreements. The DOT also regulates, subject to the authority of the President of the United States, international routes, fares, rates and practices, and is authorized to investigate and take action against discriminatory treatment of U.S. air carriers abroad. International operating rights for U.S. airlines are usually subject to bilateral agreement between the U.S. and foreign governments. UPS Airlines has international route operating rights granted by the DOT and we may apply for additional authorities when those operating rights are available and are required for the efficient operation of our international network. The efficiency and flexibility of our international air transportation network is dependent on DOT and foreign government regulations and operating restrictions.
The FAAs authority primarily relates to safety aspects of air transportation, including aircraft operating procedures, transportation of hazardous materials, record keeping standards and maintenance activities, personnel and ground facilities. In 1988, the FAA granted us an operating certificate, which remains in effect so long as we meet the safety and operational requirements of the applicable FAA regulations. In addition, we are subject to non-U.S. government regulation of aviation rights involving non-U.S. jurisdictions, and non-U.S. customs regulation.
FAA regulations mandate an aircraft corrosion control program, along with aircraft inspection and repair at periodic intervals specified by approved programs and procedures, for all aircraft. Our total expenditures under these programs for 2010 were $13 million. The future cost of repairs pursuant to these programs may fluctuate according to aircraft condition, age and the enactment of additional FAA regulatory requirements.
The TSA regulates various security aspects of air cargo transportation in a manner consistent with the TSA mission statement to protect the Nations transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce. UPS Airlines, and specified airport and off airport locations, are regulated under TSA regulations applicable to the transportation of cargo in an air network. In addition, personnel, facilities and procedures involved in air cargo transportation must comply with TSA regulations.
UPS Airlines, along with a number of other domestic airlines, participates in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program. Our participation in the CRAF program allows the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to requisition specified UPS Airlines wide-body aircraft for military use during a national defense emergency. The DOD compensates us for the use of aircraft under the CRAF program. In addition, participation in CRAF entitles UPS Airlines to bid for military cargo charter operations.
Our ground transportation of packages in the U.S. is subject to the DOTs jurisdiction with respect to the regulation of routes and to both the DOTs and the states jurisdiction with respect to the regulation of safety, insurance and hazardous materials. We are subject to similar regulation in many non-U.S. jurisdictions.
The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 created the U.S. Postal Service as an independent establishment of the executive branch of the federal government, and created the Postal Rate Commission, an independent agency, to recommend postal rates. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 amended the 1970 Act to give the re-named Postal Regulatory Commission revised oversight authority over many aspects of the Postal Service, including postal rates, product offerings and service standards. We sometimes participate in the proceedings before the Postal Regulatory Commission in an attempt to secure fair postal rates for competitive services.
We are subject to the customs laws in the countries in which we operate, regarding the import and export of shipments, including those related to the filing of documents on behalf of client importers and exporters.
We are subject to federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations across all of our business units. These laws and regulations cover a variety of processes, including, but not limited to: proper storage, handling, and disposal of hazardous and other waste; managing wastewater and storm water; monitoring and maintaining the integrity of underground storage tanks; complying with laws regarding clean air, including those governing emissions; protecting against and appropriately responding to spills and releases; and communicating the presence of reportable quantities of hazardous materials to local responders. UPS has established site- and activity-specific environmental compliance and pollution prevention programs to address our environmental responsibilities and remain compliant. In addition, UPS has created numerous programs which seek to minimize waste and prevent pollution within our operations.
We are subject to numerous other U.S. federal and state laws and regulations, in addition to applicable foreign laws, in connection with our package and non-package businesses in the countries in which we operate. These laws and regulations include those enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other agencies of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Federal Maritime Commission, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Where You Can Find More Information
We make our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to these reports available free of charge through our investor relations website, located at www.investors.ups.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC).
We have adopted a written Code of Business Conduct that applies to all of our directors, officers and employees, including our principal executive officer and senior financial officers. It is available in the governance section of the investor relations website, located at www.investors.ups.com. In the event that we make changes in, or provide waivers from, the provisions of the Code of Business Conduct that the SEC requires us to disclose, we intend to disclose these events in the governance section of our investor relations website.
Our Corporate Governance Guidelines and the charters for our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee are also available in the governance section of the investor relations website.
See note 11 to our consolidated financial statements for financial information regarding our reporting segments and geographic areas in which we operate.
Additional information about UPS is available at www.ups.com. Our sustainability report, which describes our activities that support our commitment to acting responsibly and contributing to society, is available at www.sustainability.ups.com. We provide the addresses to our internet sites solely for the information of investors. We do not intend any addresses to be active links or to otherwise incorporate the contents of any website into this report.
Cautionary Statement About Forward-Looking Statements
This report includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in the future tense, and all statements accompanied by terms such as believe, project, expect, estimate, assume, intend, anticipate, target, plan, and variations thereof and similar terms are intended to be forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements we make will be subject to safe harbor protection of the federal securities laws pursuant to Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Our disclosure and analysis in this report, in our Annual Report to Shareholders and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission contain forward-looking statements regarding our intent, belief and current expectations about our strategic direction, prospects and future results. From time to time, we also provide forward-looking statements in other materials we release as well as oral forward-looking statements. Such statements give our current expectations or forecasts of future events; they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. Management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made. However, caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements because such statements speak only as of the date when made.
Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our historical experience and our present expectations or anticipated results. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described below and elsewhere in this report and those described from time to time in our future reports filed with the SEC. You should consider the limitations on, and risks associated with, forward-looking statements and not unduly rely on the accuracy of predictions contained in such forward-looking statements. We do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances, changes in expectations, or the occurrence of unanticipated events after the date of those statements.
You should carefully consider the following factors, which could materially affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. You should read these Risk Factors in conjunction with Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Item 7 and our Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes in Item 8. The risks described below are not the only risks facing our company. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial also may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
General economic conditions, both in the U.S. and internationally, may adversely affect our results of operations.
We conduct operations in over 220 countries and territories. Our U.S. and international operations are subject to normal cycles affecting the economy in general, as well as the local economic environments in which we operate. The factors that create cyclical changes to the economy and to our business are beyond our control, and it may be difficult for us to adjust our business model to mitigate the impact of these factors. In particular, our business is affected by levels of industrial production, consumer spending and retail activity. To the extent that the recovery from the recent recession in the U.S. and in other countries takes longer than anticipated, our business, financial position and results of operations could be materially affected.
We face significant competition which could adversely affect our business, financial position and results of operations.
We face significant competition on a local, regional, national, and international basis. Our competitors include the postal services of the U.S. and other nations, various motor carriers, express companies, freight forwarders, air couriers and others. Competition may also come from other sources in the future. Some of our competitors have cost and organizational structures that differ from ours and may offer services and pricing terms that we may not be willing or able to offer. If we are unable to timely and appropriately respond to competitive pressures, our business, financial position and results of operations could be adversely affected.
The transportation industry continues to consolidate and competition remains strong. As a result of consolidation, our competitors may increase their market share and improve their financial capacity, and may strengthen their competitive positions. Business combinations could also result in competitors providing a wider variety of services and products at competitive prices, which could adversely affect our financial performance.
Our business is subject to complex and stringent regulation in the U.S. and internationally.
We are subject to complex and stringent aviation, transportation, environmental, security, labor, employment, and other governmental laws and regulations, both in the U.S. and in the other countries in which we operate. In addition, our business is impacted by laws and regulations that affect global trade, including tariff and trade policies, export requirements, taxes and other restrictions and charges. Changes in laws, regulations and the related interpretations may alter the landscape in which we do business and may affect our costs of doing business. The impact of new laws and regulations cannot be predicted. Compliance with new laws and regulations may increase our operating costs or require significant capital expenditures. Any failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations in the U.S. or in any of the countries in which we operate could result in substantial fines or possible revocation of our authority to conduct our operations, which could adversely affect our financial performance.
Increased security requirements could impose substantial costs on us and we could be the target of an attack or have a security breach.
As a result of concerns about global terrorism and homeland security, governments around the world have adopted or may adopt stricter security requirements that will result in increased operating costs for businesses in
the transportation industry. These requirements may change periodically as a result of regulatory and legislative requirements and in response to evolving threats. We cannot determine the effect that these new requirements will have on our cost structure or our operating results, and these rules or other future security requirements may increase our costs of operations and reduce operating efficiencies. Regardless of our compliance with security requirements or the steps we take to secure our facilities or fleet, we could be the target of an attack or security breaches could occur, which could adversely affect our operations or our reputation.
We may be affected by global climate change or by legal, regulatory or market responses to such potential change.
Concern over climate change, including the impact of global warming, has led to significant federal, state, and international legislative and regulatory efforts to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For example, in the past several years, the U.S. Congress has considered various bills that would regulate GHG emissions. While these bills have not yet received sufficient Congressional support for enactment, some form of federal climate change legislation is possible in the future. Even in the absence of such legislation, the Environmental Protection Agency, spurred by judicial interpretation of the Clean Air Act, may regulate GHG emissions, especially aircraft or diesel engine emissions, and this could impose substantial costs on us. These costs include an increase in the cost of the fuel and other energy we purchase and capital costs associated with updating or replacing our aircraft or trucks prematurely. Until the timing, scope and extent of any future regulation becomes known, we cannot predict its effect on our cost structure or our operating results. Notwithstanding our widely recognized position as a leader in sustainable business practices, it is reasonably possible, however, that such legislation or regulation could impose material costs on us. Moreover, even without such legislation or regulation, increased awareness and any adverse publicity in the global marketplace about the GHGs emitted by companies in the airline and transportation industries could harm our reputation and reduce customer demand for our services, especially our air services.
Strikes, work stoppages and slowdowns by our employees could adversely affect our business, financial position and results of operations.
A significant number of our employees are employed under a national master agreement and various supplemental agreements with local unions affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and our airline pilots, airline mechanics, ground mechanics and certain other employees are employed under other collective bargaining agreements. Strikes, work stoppages and slowdowns by our employees could adversely affect our ability to meet our customers needs, and customers may do more business with competitors if they believe that such actions or threatened actions may adversely affect our ability to provide services. We may face permanent loss of customers if we are unable to provide uninterrupted service, and this could adversely affect our business, financial position and results of operations. The terms of future collective bargaining agreements also may affect our competitive position and results of operations.
We are exposed to the effects of changing prices of energy, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, and interruptions in supplies of these commodities.
Changing fuel and energy costs may have a significant impact on our operations. We require significant quantities of fuel for our aircraft and delivery vehicles and are exposed to the risk associated with variations in the market price for petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. We mitigate our exposure to changing fuel prices through our indexed fuel surcharges and we may also enter into hedging transactions from time to time. If we are unable to maintain or increase our fuel surcharges, higher fuel costs could adversely impact our operating results. Even if we are able to offset the cost of fuel with our surcharges, high fuel surcharges may result in a mix shift from our higher yielding air products to lower yielding ground products or an overall reduction in volume. If fuel prices rise sharply, even if we are successful in increasing our fuel surcharge, we could experience a lag time in implementing the surcharge, which could adversely affect our short-term operating results. There can be no assurance that our hedging transactions will be effective to protect us
from changes in fuel prices. Moreover, we could experience a disruption in energy supplies, including our supply of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, as a result of war, actions by producers, or other factors which are beyond our control, which could have an adverse effect on our business.
Changes in exchange rates or interest rates may have an adverse effect on our results.
We conduct business across the globe with a significant portion of our revenue derived from operations outside the United States. Our operations in international markets are affected by changes in the exchange rates for local currencies, and in particular the Euro, British Pound and Canadian Dollar.
We are exposed to changes in interest rates, primarily on our short-term debt and that portion of our long-term debt that carries floating interest rates. The impact of a 100-basis-point change in interest rates affecting our debt is discussed in the Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk section of this report.
We monitor and manage our exposures to changes in currency exchange rates and interest rates, and make limited use of currency exchange contracts, over the counter option contracts, commodity forwards, swaps and futures contracts to mitigate the impact of changes in currency values, but changes in exchange rates and interest rates cannot always be predicted or hedged.
If we are unable to maintain our brand image and corporate reputation, our business may suffer.
Our success depends in part on our ability to maintain the image of the UPS brand and our reputation for providing excellent service to our customers. Service quality issues, actual or perceived, even when false or unfounded, could tarnish the image of our brand and may cause customers to use other companies. Also, adverse publicity surrounding labor relations, environmental concerns, security matters, political activities and the like, or attempts to connect our company to these sorts of issues, either in the United States or other countries in which we operate, could negatively affect our overall reputation and acceptance of our services by customers. Damage to our reputation and loss of brand equity could reduce demand for our services and thus have an adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations, and could require additional resources to rebuild our reputation and restore the value of our brand.
A significant privacy breach could adversely affect our business and we may be required to increase our spending on data security.
The provision of service to our customers and the operation of our network involve the storage and transmission of proprietary information and sensitive or confidential data, including personal information of customers, employees and others. Breaches in security could expose us, our customers or the individuals affected to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, resulting in litigation and potential liability for the company, as well as the loss of existing or potential customers, damage to our brand and reputation, or disruptions in our operations. In addition, the cost and operational consequences of implementing further data protection measures could be significant.
We have invested in a technology infrastructure which supports our global air and ground network and is critical to support our operations and customer needs. Any major disruption to this infrastructure could adversely impact our operations, customers and global commerce.
Our ability to serve customers and to compete effectively depends to a large part upon the reliability and speed of our technology network. While we have built a multi-layered architecture to support swiftly-expanding worldwide operations and we ensure that our infrastructure is robust, reliable and redundant, there are risks of malicious or unintentional disruptions to the Internet or our technology infrastructure which could adversely impact our operations and consequently, our customers and global commerce.
We make significant capital investments in our business of which a significant portion is tied to projected volume levels.
We require significant capital investments in our business consisting of aircraft, vehicles, technology, facilities and sorting and other types of equipment to support both our existing business and anticipated growth. Forecasting projected volume involves many factors which are subject to uncertainty, such as general economic trends, changes in governmental regulation, and competition. If we do not accurately forecast our future capital investment needs, we could have excess capacity or insufficient capacity, either of which would negatively affect our revenues and profitability. In addition to forecasting our capital investment requirements, we adjust other elements of our operations and cost structure in response to adverse economic conditions; however, these adjustments may not be sufficient to allow us to maintain our operating margins in an adverse economy.
We derive a significant portion of our revenues from our international operations and are subject to the risks of doing business in emerging markets.
We have significant international operations and while the geographical diversity of our international operations helps ensure that we are not overly reliant on a single region or country, we are continually exposed to changing economic, political and social developments beyond our control. Emerging markets are typically more volatile than those in the developed world, and any broad-based downturn in these markets could reduce our revenues and adversely affect our business, financial position and results of operations.
We are subject to changes in markets and our business plans that have resulted, and may in the future result, in substantial write-downs of the carrying value of our assets, thereby reducing our net income.
Our regular review of the carrying value of our assets has resulted, from time to time, in significant impairments, and we may in the future be required to recognize additional impairment charges. Changes in business strategy, government regulations, or economic or market conditions have resulted and may result in further substantial impairment write-downs of our intangible or other assets at any time in the future. In addition, we have been and may be required in the future to recognize increased depreciation and amortization charges if we determine that the useful lives of our fixed assets are shorter than we originally estimated. Such changes could reduce our net income.
Employee health and retiree health and pension benefit costs represent a significant expense to us.
With approximately 400,600 employees, including approximately 330,600 in the U.S., our expenses relating to employee health and retiree health and pension benefits are significant. In recent years, we have experienced significant increases in certain of these costs, largely as a result of economic factors beyond our control, including, in particular, ongoing increases in health care costs well in excess of the rate of inflation. Continued increasing health care costs, volatility in investment returns and discount rates, as well as changes in laws, regulations and assumptions used to calculate retiree health and pension benefit expenses, may adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations or require significant contributions to our pension plans.
We participate in a number of trustee-managed multi-employer pension and health and welfare plans for employees covered under collective bargaining agreements. Several factors could cause us to make significantly higher future contributions to these plans, including unfavorable investment performance, increases in health care costs, changes in demographics, and increased benefits to participants. At this time, we are unable to determine the amount of additional future contributions, if any, or whether any material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, or liquidity could result from our participation in these plans.
We may be subject to various claims and lawsuits that could result in significant expenditures.
The nature of our business exposes us to the potential for various claims and litigation related to labor and employment, personal injury, property damage, business practices, environmental liability and other matters. Any material litigation or a catastrophic accident or series of accidents could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations.
We may not realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions, joint ventures or strategic alliances.
As part of our business strategy, we may acquire businesses and form joint ventures or strategic alliances. Whether we realize the anticipated benefits from these transactions depends, in part, upon the successful integration between the businesses involved, the performance of the underlying operation, capabilities or technologies and the management of the transacted operations. Accordingly, our financial results could be adversely affected by our failure to effectively integrate the acquired operations, unanticipated performance issues, transaction-related charges, or charges for impairment of long-term assets that we acquire.
Insurance and claims expenses could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have a combination of both self-insurance and high-deductible insurance programs for the risks arising out of the services we provide and the nature of our global operations, including claims exposure resulting from cargo loss, personal injury, property damage, aircraft and related liabilities, business interruption and workers compensation. Workers compensation, automobile and general liabilities are determined using actuarial estimates of the aggregate liability for claims incurred and an estimate of incurred but not reported claims, on an undiscounted basis. Our accruals for insurance reserves reflect certain actuarial assumptions and management judgments, which are subject to a high degree of variability. If the number or severity of claims for which we are retaining risk increases, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected. If we lose our ability to self-insure these risks, our insurance costs could materially increase and we may find it difficult to obtain adequate levels of insurance coverage.
We own our headquarters, which are located in Atlanta, Georgia and consist of about 735,000 square feet of office space on an office campus, and our UPS Supply Chain Solutions groups headquarters, which are located in Alpharetta, Georgia, and consist of about 310,000 square feet of office space.
We also own our 27 principal U.S. package operating facilities, which have floor spaces that range from about 310,000 to 693,000 square feet. In addition, we have a 1.9 million square foot operating facility near Chicago, Illinois, which is designed to streamline shipments between East Coast and West Coast destinations, and we own or lease over 1,000 additional smaller package operating facilities in the U.S. The smaller of these facilities have vehicles and drivers stationed for the pickup of packages and facilities for the sorting, transfer and delivery of packages. The larger of these facilities also service our vehicles and equipment and employ specialized mechanical installations for the sorting and handling of packages.
We own or lease almost 600 facilities that support our international package operations and an additional 776 facilities that support our freight forwarding and logistics operations. Our freight forwarding and logistics operations maintain facilities with about 31 million square feet of floor space. We own and operate a logistics campus consisting of approximately 3.1 million square feet in Louisville, Kentucky.
UPS Freight operates 196 service centers with a total of 5.6 million square feet of floor space. UPS Freight owns 140 of these service centers, while the remainder are occupied under operating lease agreements. The main offices of UPS Freight are located in Richmond, Virginia and consist of about 240,000 square feet of office space.
Our aircraft are operated in a hub and spokes pattern in the U.S. Our principal air hub in the U.S., known as Worldport®, is located in Louisville, Kentucky. The Worldport facility consists of over 5.2 million square feet and the site includes approximately 596 acres. In 2009, we completed the first phase of our Worldport® expansion, which increased the sorting capacity of the facility by 15%. The final phase of the Worldport® expansion was completed in 2010, and increased the sorting capacity to approximately 416,000 packages per hour. The expansion involved the addition of two aircraft load / unload wings to the hub building, followed by the installation of high-speed conveyor and computer control systems. The total cost of the expansion was over $1 billion.
We also have regional air hubs in Hartford, Connecticut; Ontario, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Rockford, Illinois. These hubs house facilities for the sorting, transfer and delivery of packages. Our European air hub is located in Cologne, Germany, and we maintain Asia-Pacific air hubs in Shanghai, China; Shenzhen, China; Taipei, Taiwan; Hong Kong; and Singapore. Our regional air hub in Canada is located in Hamilton, Ontario, and our regional air hub for Latin America and the Caribbean is in Miami, Florida.
Over the past several years, UPS has made a successful transition to become the first wholly-owned foreign express carrier in China. In 2008, we opened the UPS International Air Hub at Pudong International Airport, which was built on a parcel totaling 2.4 million square feet with a planned sorting capacity of 17,000 packages per hour. The new hub links all of China via Shanghai to UPSs international network with direct service to the Americas, Europe and Asia. It also connects points served in China by UPS through a dedicated service provided by Yangtze River Express, a Chinese all-cargo airline.
In February 2010, we opened a new intra-Asia air hub at Shenzhen Baoan International Airport in China. The Shenzhen facility replaced our intra-Asia air hub at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, and serves as our primary transit hub in Asia. The facility was built on a parcel of almost 1 million square feet, and has a sorting capacity of 18,000 packages per hour.
Our primary information technology operations are consolidated in a 435,000 square foot owned facility, the Ramapo Ridge facility, which is located on a 39-acre site in Mahwah, New Jersey. We also own a 175,000 square foot facility located on a 25-acre site in Alpharetta, Georgia, which serves as a backup to the main information technology operations facility in New Jersey. This facility provides production functions and backup capacity in the event that a power outage or other disaster incapacitates the main data center. It also helps us to meet our internal communication needs.
We believe that our facilities are adequate to support our current operations.
The following table shows information about our aircraft fleet as of December 31, 2010:
We maintain an inventory of spare engines and parts for each aircraft.
All of the aircraft we own meet Stage III federal noise regulations and can operate at airports that have aircraft noise restrictions. We became the first major airline to successfully operate a 100% Stage III fleet more than three years in advance of the date required by federal regulations.
During 2010, we took delivery of five Boeing 767-300F aircraft. We have firm commitments to purchase 20 Boeing 767-300ER freighters to be delivered between 2011 and 2013, and two Boeing 747-400F aircraft scheduled for delivery during 2011. We sold the remainder of our McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-71 and Boeing 747-200 aircraft fleets during 2010. Additionally, one Boeing 747-400F aircraft was destroyed in an accident in September 2010.
We operate a ground fleet of approximately 99,800 package cars, vans, tractors and motorcycles. Our ground support fleet consists of 32,100 pieces of equipment designed specifically to support our aircraft fleet, ranging from non-powered container dollies and racks to powered aircraft main deck loaders and cargo tractors. We also have 33,800 containers used to transport cargo in our aircraft.
We promote safety throughout our operations. Our Automotive Fleet Safety Program is built with the following components:
Our workplace safety program is built upon a comprehensive health and safety process. The foundation of this process is our employee-management health and safety committees. The workplace safety process focuses on employee conditioning and safety-related habits. Our employee co-chaired health and safety committees complete comprehensive facility audits and injury analyses, and recommend facility and work process changes.
For a discussion of legal proceedings affecting us and our subsidiaries, please see the information under the sub-caption Contingencies of the caption Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included in this report.
Our class A common stock is not listed on a national securities exchange or traded in an organized over-the-counter market, but each share of our class A common stock is convertible into one share of our class B common stock.
The following is a summary of our class B common stock price activity and dividend information for 2010 and 2009. Our class B common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UPS.
As of February 9, 2011, there were 161,954 and 223,891 record holders of class A and class B common stock, respectively.
The policy of our Board of Directors is to declare dividends out of current earnings. The declaration of dividends is subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors and will depend on various factors, including our net income, financial condition, cash requirements, future prospects, and other relevant factors.
On February 3, 2011, our Board declared a dividend of $0.52 per share, which is payable on March 2, 2011 to shareowners of record on February 14, 2011. This represents an 11% increase from the previous $0.47 quarterly dividend in 2010.
In January 2008, the Board of Directors approved an increase in our share repurchase authorization to $10.0 billion. Share repurchases may take the form of accelerated share repurchases, open market purchases, or other such methods as we deem appropriate. The timing of our share repurchases will depend upon market conditions. Unless terminated earlier by the resolution of our Board, the program will expire when we have purchased all shares authorized for repurchase under the program.
A summary of repurchases of our class A and class B common stock during the fourth quarter of 2010 is as follows (in millions, except per share amounts):
Shareowner Return Performance Graph
The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed soliciting material or to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that the Company specifically incorporates such information by reference into such filing.
The following graph shows a five year comparison of cumulative total shareowners returns for our class B common stock, the Standard & Poors 500 Index, and the Dow Jones Transportation Average. The comparison of the total cumulative return on investment, which is the change in the quarterly stock price plus reinvested dividends for each of the quarterly periods, assumes that $100 was invested on December 31, 2005 in the Standard & Poors 500 Index, the Dow Jones Transportation Average, and our class B common stock.
The following table sets forth selected financial data for each of the five years in the period ended December 31, 2010 (in millions, except per share amounts). This financial data should be read together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes, Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and other financial data appearing elsewhere in this report.
Our U.S. Domestic Package, International Package, and Supply Chain & Freight segments were all positively affected by the worldwide economic recovery in 2010. Our operating results had deteriorated in 2008 and 2009, due to the severity and length of the economic recession. Growth in world trade, U.S. industrial production and retail sales positively impacted volume in our package delivery, LTL and forwarding operations in 2010. Additionally, cost containment initiatives and better network efficiencies resulted in improving operating profit margins for our small package operations. Our consolidated results are presented in the table below:
Items Affecting Comparability
The year-over-year comparisons of our financial results are affected by the following items (in millions):
In 2010, we streamlined the management structure in our U.S. Domestic Package segment, and incurred a restructuring charge associated with this reorganization. This pre-tax charge totaled $98 million ($64 million after-tax), and reflects the value of voluntary retirement benefits, severance benefits and unvested stock compensation.
Gain on Sales of Businesses
In 2010, we sold our UPS Logistics Technologies business unit within our Supply Chain & Freight segment, and recognized a pre-tax gain of $71 million ($44 million after-tax). Also in 2010, we sold a specialized transportation business in Germany within our Supply Chain & Freight segment, and incurred a pre-tax loss on the sale of $51 million ($47 million after-tax), which includes a fair value adjustment loss due to a financial guarantee associated with this business sale.
Gain on Sale of Real Estate
In 2010, we recognized a pre-tax gain of $109 million ($61 million after-tax) on the sale of real estate within our U.S. Domestic Package segment.
Aircraft Impairment Charges
In 2009, we completed an impairment assessment of our McDonnell-Douglas DC-8 aircraft fleet, and recorded an impairment charge of $181 million, which affected our U.S. Domestic Package segment. This charge, as well as our accounting policies pertaining to long-lived assets, is discussed further in Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates.
Goodwill Impairment Charge
In 2008, we completed our annual goodwill impairment testing and determined that our UPS Freight reporting unit, which was formed through the acquisition of Overnite Corporation in 2005, had a goodwill impairment of $548 million. This charge, as well as our accounting policies pertaining to goodwill, is discussed further in Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates.
Intangible Impairment Charge
In 2008, we completed an impairment assessment on a customer list intangible asset related to our domestic package entity in the United Kingdom. We recorded a $27 million charge related to this assessment, which is further discussed in Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates.
Currency Remeasurement Charge
During 2009, we incurred a $77 million non-cash, pre-tax currency remeasurement charge on certain foreign currency denominated obligations.
Charge for Change in Tax Filing Status for German Subsidiary
In 2010, we changed the tax status of a German subsidiary that was taxable in the U.S. and its local jurisdiction to one that is solely taxed in its local jurisdiction. As a result of this change in tax status, we recorded a non-cash charge of $76 million to income tax expense, which resulted primarily from the write-off of related deferred tax assets which will not be realizable following the change in tax status.
Results of OperationsSegment Review
The results and discussions that follow are reflective of how our executive management monitors the performance of our reporting segments. We supplement the reporting of our financial information determined under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) with certain non-GAAP financial measures, including operating profit, operating margin, pre-tax income, net income and earnings per share adjusted for the non-comparable items discussed previously. We believe that these adjusted measures provide meaningful information to assist investors and analysts in understanding our financial results and assessing our prospects for
future performance. We believe these adjusted financial measures are important indicators of our recurring results of operations because they exclude items that may not be indicative of, or are unrelated to, our core operating results, and provide a better baseline for analyzing trends in our underlying businesses.
U.S. Domestic Package Operations
2010 compared to 2009
In 2010, our overall volume increased as improvements in industrial production and retail sales increased overall demand in the U.S. small package market. Among our air products, package volume increased as inventory rebuilding in the manufacturing and retailing sectors contributed to growth. However, our letter volume declined largely due to weakness in the financial and other service industries. The growth in ground volume was driven by increased volume from the manufacturing and retailing sectors.
2009 compared to 2008
In 2009, our overall volume declined as decreases in industrial production and retail sales reduced overall demand in the U.S. small package market. Our air product volume was stronger than our ground volume, as our air volume benefited from market share gains resulting from the departure of a competitor in the U.S. market, as well as improving economic trends in the latter half of the year. The growth in air volume was strongest in our less time-sensitive products, such as Next Day Air Saver and Three Day Select.
Volume trends improved in the fourth quarter, largely as a result of overall economic improvements, as average daily volume for Next Day Air and Deferred products increased 2.8% and 4.3%, respectively, over 2008 levels. Ground volume demonstrated an improving trend over the previous quarters despite a 2.9% decline in the fourth quarter compared with 2008.
Revenue Per Piece
2010 compared to 2009
Overall revenue per piece increased for our ground and air products in 2010, largely due to a combination of base price increases and fuel surcharge rate changes, which are discussed further below. The revenue per piece for our air products also improved as a result of higher average package weights and the overall mix shift from letters to packages. For both our air and ground products, revenue per piece was negatively affected by a shift in product mix to our less premium services, such as Next Day Air Saver and Ground Basic.
Revenue per piece for our ground and air products was impacted by an increase in base rates that took effect on January 4, 2010. We increased the base rates 6.9% on UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air, and UPS 3 Day Select, and 4.9% on UPS Ground. Other pricing changes included an increase in the residential surcharge, and an increase in the delivery area surcharge on both residential and commercial services to certain ZIP codes. These rate changes are customary and occur on an annual basis.
2009 compared to 2008
Revenue per piece for our air products was negatively affected in 2009 by a decline in the fuel surcharge rate for air products. Additionally, the revenue per piece decline for our air products was impacted by lower average package weights and a mix shift toward lower yielding products, reflecting the economic recession in the United States. The decline in revenue per piece for our ground products was primarily due to a decrease in the fuel surcharge rate, but was also impacted by lower average package weights.
The factors decreasing revenue per piece for our ground and air products were partially offset by an increase in base rates that took effect on January 5, 2009. We increased the base rates 6.9% on UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air, and UPS 3 Day Select, and 5.9% on UPS Ground. Other pricing changes included an increase in the residential surcharge, and an increase in the delivery area surcharge on both residential and commercial services to certain ZIP codes.
The trend towards lower package weights began to stabilize in the fourth quarter, however product mix within our air and ground services continued to adversely impact revenue per piece, as the lower-yielding products within those categories represented a larger share of our overall package volume.
UPS applies a fuel surcharge on our domestic air and ground services. The air fuel surcharge is based on the U.S. Energy Departments Gulf Coast spot price for a gallon of kerosene-type jet fuel, while the ground fuel surcharge is based on the U.S. Energy Departments On-Highway Diesel Fuel Price. Based on published rates, the average fuel surcharge for domestic air and ground products was as follows:
On January 4, 2010 and January 5, 2009, we modified the fuel surcharge on air services by reducing the index used to determine the fuel surcharge by 2% in each of the two years. The 2010 increase and 2009 decrease in the air and ground fuel surcharges are due to the significant variations in jet and diesel fuel prices (in addition to the reduction in the index on the air surcharge). Total domestic fuel surcharge revenue, net of the impact of hedging, increased by $592 million in 2010, primarily due to the higher fuel surcharge rates described above, as
well as the increase in volume for our air and ground products. In 2009, fuel surcharge revenue decreased by $1.924 billion due to lower fuel surcharge rates and the decline in volume for our air and ground products.
Operating Profit and Margin
2010 compared to 2009
Operating profit in 2010 was positively impacted by the overall economic growth in the U.S., which drove increased volume and yields. Combined with increased network efficiencies and cost containment initiatives, this resulted in strong operating leverage. Network efficiencies were achieved in 2010, as we adjusted our air and ground networks to better match volume levels, and utilized our expanded Worldport facility to utilize larger aircraft as well as increase package sorting efficiency. These changes have resulted in cost savings through fewer aircraft block hours, labor hours in our operations, and vehicle miles driven. Improved pick-up and delivery densities have also increased productivity in our operations. In addition to these factors, management salary costs declined as a result of a decrease in the total number of management employees through attrition combined with voluntary and involuntary workforce reductions. The combination of these factors led to an increase in the operating margin in 2010 compared with 2009.
2009 compared to 2008
Operating profit in 2009 was adversely impacted by the U.S. economic recession, decreased network efficiencies due to the decline in volume, changes in package characteristics, and a shift in product mix away from our premium services. Operating profit was also negatively impacted as we incurred a larger decline in fuel surcharge revenue compared with the decline in fuel expense. We adjusted our air and ground networks to better match these lower volume levels, as well as reduced labor hours and employee headcount, resulting in cost savings. Operating profit trends improved during the fourth quarter of 2009 due to both improving volume trends and the positive impact of continued cost and production efficiencies, which combined to improve the operating margin to 10.1% for the quarter.
International Package Operations
2010 compared to 2009
Export volume increased for 2010, as the worldwide economy and world trade continued to improve. We experienced strong growth in Asia, where volume grew 28% due to a combination of regional economic growth and geographic expansion of our service offerings. European export volume also had strong growth for the year, increasing 10% compared with the prior year, due to market share gains, economic growth in certain key markets, and an overall expansion of trade in the European Union. U.S. origin export volume also had solid growth during the year. Our premium Worldwide Express and Expedited products grew at a relatively faster rate than our standard transborder and trade direct products.
Non-U.S. domestic volume increased 15.2% for the year, due in part to the acquisition of Unsped Paket Servisi San ve Ticaret A.S. (Unsped) in Turkey in the third quarter of 2009. Excluding the acquisition of Unsped, non-U.S. domestic volume increased 9.7%, led by the strength in core European markets, Canada and Mexico.
2009 compared to 2008
Export volume declined, primarily due to weakness in the Asia, Europe and U.S. export lanes, as the worldwide economic recession and slowdown in world trade more than offset market share gains. Transborder export volume was relatively stronger within the European Union and North America trade areas, while volume in the longer export trade lanes was comparatively weaker. Non-U.S. domestic volume increased for the year, largely due to the acquisition of Unsped, as well as volume growth in Germany, France, Poland and Canada.
By the fourth quarter of 2009, export volume began to improve as global trade and economic activity accelerated. The Asia and U.S. export lanes demonstrated significant improvement, as those trade areas suffered a relatively greater decline in the early part of the year. Domestic volume continued to benefit from the Unsped acquisition, as well as market share gains and general economic improvement in Europe and the Americas. Volume was relatively stronger in the small and middle market customer segments.
Revenue Per Piece
2010 compared to 2009
Export revenue per piece increased during 2010, largely due to higher fuel surcharge rates, base rate increases and product mix. Export revenue per piece increased as higher-yielding products (such as Worldwide Express and Worldwide Expedited) grew at a relatively faster pace. In 2010, we experienced an overall lengthening of trade lanes, as inter-regional trade increased (especially in our Asia-to-Europe and Asia-to-U.S. export lanes), leading to relatively stronger growth for our premium products. The impact of currency, net of hedging, resulted in a decrease to revenue growth during the year. Domestic revenue per piece decreased, primarily due to the impact of lower-yielding domestic packages from the Unsped acquisition. Total average revenue per piece increased 0.7% for the year on a currency-adjusted basis.
On January 4, 2010, we increased the base rates 6.9% for international shipments originating in the United States (Worldwide Express, Worldwide Express Plus, UPS Worldwide Expedited and UPS International Standard service). Rate changes for shipments originating outside the U.S. were made throughout the year and varied by geographic market.
2009 compared to 2008
Export revenue per piece decreased, largely due to the adverse impact of currency exchange rates, lower fuel surcharge rates, and product mix, but was partially offset by base rate increases that took effect in the first
quarter of 2009. Currency-adjusted export revenue per piece declined 10.1% for 2009. Export revenue per piece was impacted by the lower revenue per piece transborder products comprising a relatively larger portion of our total volume, as we experienced larger volume declines on some of our longer export trade lanes with higher yields. Domestic revenue per piece decreased, which was primarily caused by adverse currency exchange rate fluctuations (currency-adjusted domestic revenue per piece declined 7.2% for the year), as well as the impact of lower fuel surcharge rates. Total average revenue per piece decreased 12.1% for the year on a currency-adjusted basis.
On January 5, 2009, we increased the base rates 6.9% for international shipments originating in the United States (Worldwide Express, Worldwide Express Plus, UPS Worldwide Expedited and UPS International Standard service). Rate changes for shipments originating outside the U.S. were made throughout the year and varied by geographic market.
Export revenue per piece showed a significant improvement in the fourth quarter, as higher-yielding trade lanes, such as Asia to Europe and Asia to North America, comprised a larger proportion of our total export volume. Revenue per piece in the fourth quarter benefited from a weaker U.S. Dollar, but continued to be adversely impacted by lower fuel surcharge rates.
On January 4, 2010 and January 5, 2009, we modified the fuel surcharge on certain U.S.-related international air services by reducing the index used to determine the fuel surcharge by 2% in each of the two years. The fuel surcharges for products originating outside the United States continue to be indexed to fuel prices in our different international regions, depending upon where the shipment takes place. Total international fuel surcharge revenue increased by $299 million in 2010, due to higher fuel surcharge rates caused by increased fuel prices as well as an increase in international air volume. Fuel surcharge revenue decreased by $788 million in 2009, due to lower fuel surcharge rates caused by decreased fuel prices, but this was partially offset by an increase in international air volume.
Operating Profit and Margin
2010 compared to 2009
The increase in operating profit for 2010 was primarily driven by volume increases in all major regions and trade lanes worldwide. The shift in product mix to our higher-margin premium services also contributed to the increase in operating profits. Additionally, network efficiencies and cost containment initiatives created operating leverage throughout our operations. These factors led to an increase in the operating margin in 2010 compared with 2009.
2009 compared to 2008
The decline in operating profit for the year was caused primarily by a shift in product mix away from our premium services, and volume declines in some of the longer export trade lanes. Operating profit was also negatively impacted as we incurred a larger decline in fuel surcharge revenue compared with the decline in fuel expense. To reduce costs, we adjusted our air network and reduced block hours and flight segments in certain international regions. The volume trends began to improve later in the year, and in the fourth quarter operating profit increased 19% (excluding an impairment charge in 2008), as the impact of cost initiatives and network improvements drove an improvement in the operating margin to 16.7%.
Supply Chain & Freight Operations
2010 compared to 2009
Forwarding and logistics revenue increased in 2010, primarily due to growth in the demand for forwarding as a result of the continued expansion of the worldwide economy, inventory rebuilding and world trade. In our forwarding business, both air freight and ocean freight experienced solid revenue growth, due primarily to higher volumes, fuel surcharges, and other accessorial charges. International air freight tonnage increased 19% for 2010 compared with the prior year. In our logistics products, we experienced growth in mail services and distribution revenue, with solid increases being achieved in the healthcare and technology sectors.
Freight revenue increased, primarily due to higher fuel surcharge rates and a base rate increase that took effect in January 2010. Average LTL shipments per day, weight per shipment and LTL revenue per hundredweight all increased during the year, largely due to our strategy of maintaining our focus on yields and targeting certain customer segments. The increase in LTL revenue per hundredweight was primarily due to an increase in base prices that took effect in January 2010, as UPS Freight increased minimum charge, LTL and TL rates an average of 5.7%, covering non-contractual shipments in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. An additional 5.9% rate increase took effect October 18, 2010. Additionally, LTL revenue per hundredweight increased as a result of higher fuel surcharge rates, as total fuel surcharge revenue increased $105 million for the year primarily resulting from higher diesel fuel prices.
The other businesses within Supply Chain & Freight experienced an increase in revenue. A primary driver of this increase was our UPS Customer Solutions business, which provides a range of services (e.g. project management, industrial engineering, transportation fleet services, distribution network analysis, package engineering, and package visibility).
2009 compared to 2008
Forwarding and logistics revenue decreased for the year, and was caused primarily by weakness in demand for freight forwarding due to global economic weakness and declines in international trade. Forwarding revenue declined in all major transportation modes, including domestic and international air freight and ocean freight, and was impacted by lower volumes, lower fuel surcharges, and lower security and other accessorial charges. Logistics distribution and post-sales service revenue also declined, primarily resulting from the weak global economy, however mail services revenue increased for the year.
Freight revenue declined, primarily due to lower fuel surcharge rates and a decline in average daily LTL shipments. Total LTL weight per shipment declined for the year, reflecting the weak LTL market and the ongoing economic recession in the United States in 2009. Average LTL shipments per day also declined, as market share gains were more than offset by the impact of the weak economy. LTL revenue per hundredweight decreased, primarily as a result of the lower fuel surcharge rates, as total fuel surcharge revenue declined $188 million for the year primarily resulting from lower diesel fuel prices. However, this decline was partially offset by an increase in base prices that took effect on January 5, 2009, as UPS Freight increased minimum charge, LTL and TL rates an average of 5.9%, covering non-contractual shipments in the United States and Canada.
The other businesses within Supply Chain & Freight, which include our retail franchising business and our financial business, experienced a decline in revenue, primarily caused by lower interest rates and decreased loan volume in our financial business.
Revenue trends for our forwarding, logistics, and LTL products improved in the fourth quarter of 2009, largely resulting from favorable comparisons with the prior year. The change in revenue for our forwarding and logistics businesses benefited from the weaker U.S. Dollar during the quarter, while revenue in the forwarding and LTL units continued to be adversely impacted by lower fuel surcharge revenue.
Operating Profit and Margin
2010 compared to 2009
Operating profit in the forwarding unit increased during 2010, largely due to a strong increase in tonnage in our air and ocean forwarding businesses, but was partially offset by capacity constraints from outside carriers in the first half of 2010. Capacity constraints led to rapidly escalating rates on air freight which could not be passed on to customers in a timely manner, resulting in a negative impact to our operating profit and margin. This situation improved during the second half of 2010, as capacity constraints lessened and we were able to implement revenue management plans which better matched customer pricing with market conditions. Our logistics unit had a solid increase in profitability for the year, which was driven primarily by an expansion of operating margins due to operating efficiencies and a focus on higher margin industry sectors.
Operating profit for our UPS Freight unit increased in 2010 compared with the prior year, largely due to better productivity, and increases in base pricing and volume. Productivity metrics increased, including increases in pickup and delivery stops per hour and linehaul utilization.
All of the remaining businesses within this segment had an operating profit during the year. Combined operating profit for these businesses was lower in 2010 than in 2009, primarily due to the gain on sale of substantially all our international Mail Boxes Etc. operations during the second quarter of 2009.
2009 compared to 2008
The lower operating profit in the forwarding unit was impacted by the weak global demand for forwarding services, as well as capacity reductions by outside ocean and air freight carriers. During the latter half of 2009 and particularly in the fourth quarter, capacity constraints led to rapidly escalating rates on air freight which could not be passed on to customers, resulting in a negative impact to operating profit and margin. The operating profit for our logistics unit declined slightly, and was impacted by the loss incurred on the sale of some non-core European logistics operations. However, the operating margin in this business remained stable, as costs were reduced commensurate with the decline in revenues.
Our UPS Freight unit reported improved profitability for 2009, due to a reduction in vacation accruals resulting from modifications in vacation policies and changes in the workforce coverage of our individual plans. Excluding this reduction in vacation liabilities, the UPS Freight unit reported a small operating loss due to the economic recession and difficult LTL market in the United States.
The combined operating income for all of our other businesses in this segment increased during the year. The increase was primarily driven by a gain on sale of substantially all of our international Mail Boxes Etc. operations during the second quarter.
Compensation and Benefits
The increase in compensation and benefits expense during 2010 compared with 2009 was impacted by several items. Payroll costs increased, largely due to higher accruals for management incentive compensation plans resulting from improved company financial results. Union payroll costs also increased due to contractual wage increases. These factors were partially offset by a decline in union labor hours, as well as a reduction in management salary costs resulting from a decrease in the total number of management employees through attrition combined with voluntary and involuntary workforce reductions.
Benefits expense increased in 2010, due largely to increases in pension expense, health and welfare expense, and relocation-related benefit costs for management employees. Pension expense increases resulted primarily from higher union contribution rates for multi-employer pension plans. The relocation benefit costs relate to the restructuring of our domestic package operations that occurred in the first quarter of 2010. This increase in health and welfare costs, which was primarily driven by health cost inflation, was somewhat mitigated by reductions in the total number of management employees and union employees covered by UPS-sponsored health and welfare benefit plans.
The decrease in compensation and benefits expense during 2009 compared with 2008 was impacted by several items. A large component of this decrease was related to employee payroll costs, as union labor hours declined as a result of lower U.S. Domestic Package volume, and management payroll declined as a result of a reduction in the total number of management employees through attrition combined with a wage freeze. Benefits expense increased due to higher employee health and welfare program costs, which were impacted by higher union contribution rates, and increased pension expense. Pension expense increases resulted from higher union contribution rates for multi-employer pension plans, combined with increased interest costs, a decrease in our expected return on plan assets and the amortization of actuarial losses for company-sponsored plans. The interest cost grew due to continued service accruals, while the decrease in expected return on plan assets and the actuarial losses were primarily due to the negative asset returns experienced in 2008. The overall increase in benefits expense was partially offset by a freeze in the company contributions to our primary employee defined contribution savings plan.
Repairs and Maintenance
Repairs and maintenance expense increased in 2010, largely due to higher costs for maintenance on our vehicle fleet. Repairs and maintenance expense declined in 2009, largely due to reduced vehicle maintenance expenses resulting from a reduction in miles driven.
Depreciation and Amortization
Depreciation and amortization expense increased in 2010, primarily as a result of depreciation expense on equipment and facilities capitalized in conjunction with the recent Worldport expansion. Amortization of intangible assets also increased as a result of new intangibles recognized related to the Unsped acquisition in Turkey in the third quarter of 2009, as well as corporate sponsorships entered into in 2010.
Depreciation and amortization expense decreased in 2009, primarily as a result of lower depreciation expense on equipment and facilities, as certain Worldport assets became fully depreciated, as well as lower software amortization resulting from fewer new capitalized software projects. These decreases were partially offset by higher depreciation expense on aircraft and vehicles, resulting from new deliveries in 2008 and 2009.
The increase in purchased transportation in 2010 was driven by higher freight forwarding volume and rates in Asia and Europe, as well as increased fuel surcharge rates charged to us by third-party carriers as a result of higher fuel prices. The decrease in purchased transportation in 2009 was driven by a combination of lower volume in our international package and forwarding businesses, a stronger U.S. Dollar, and decreased fuel surcharge rates charged to us by third-party carriers as a result of lower fuel prices.
The increase in fuel expense in 2010 was caused primarily by higher prices for jet-A fuel, diesel, and unleaded gasoline, as well as a slight increase in usage of these products in our operations. The decrease in fuel expense in 2009 was impacted by significantly lower prices for jet-A fuel, diesel, and unleaded gasoline, as well as lower usage of these products in our operations.
The decrease in other occupancy expense in 2010 was primarily due to decreased labor and overhead expenses, and lower rent expense on leased facilities. The decrease in other occupancy expense in 2009 was primarily caused by lower electricity and natural gas costs, as well as lower rent expense.
The decrease in other expenses in 2010 was largely due to reductions in bad debt expense and foreign currency transaction expense, which reflected gains during 2010 compared to losses in 2009. Additionally, we incurred a loss on the sale of a French repair business in 2009. Additional expense reductions in 2010 were due to cost containment programs, including reductions in telecom costs, office supplies, and outside professional fees. We also incurred lower expenses associated with auto liability insurance and customer claims for lost or damaged packages.
The decline in other expenses in 2009, exclusive of impairment charges, was due in part to certain variable costs that declined as a result of lower package volume, such as the expense associated with customer claims for lost or damaged packages, rent expense for transportation equipment, cargo handling costs, and aircraft landing fees. Additionally, certain other costs declined primarily as a result of cost containment programs, such as employee expense reimbursements, office supplies, professional services, and advertising costs.
Investment Income and Interest Expense
The decrease in investment income in 2010 was primarily due to a lower yield earned on our invested assets as a result of declines in short-term interest rates in the United States, as well as higher impairment losses on our holdings of auction rate and preferred securities. The 2009 decline was largely due to a lower average balance of interest-earning investments, a significantly lower yield earned on our invested assets as a result of declines in short-term interest rates in the United States, and a loss on the fair value adjustments of certain investment partnerships.
During the second quarter of 2010, we recorded impairment losses on certain asset-backed auction rate securities. The impairment charge resulted from provisions that allow the issuers of the securities to subordinate our holdings to newly issued debt or to tender for the securities at less than their par value. These securities, which had a cost basis of $128 million, were written down to their fair value of $107 million as of June 30, 2010, resulting in an other-than-temporary impairment of $21 million.
During the second quarter of 2009, we recorded impairment losses on certain perpetual preferred securities, and an auction rate security collateralized by preferred securities, issued by large financial institutions. The
impairment charge resulted from conversion offers from the issuers of these securities at prices well below the stated redemption value of the preferred shares. These securities, which had a cost basis of $42 million, were written down to their fair value of $25 million as of June 30, 2009, resulting in an other-than-temporary impairment of $17 million.
The decrease in interest expense in 2010 was primarily due to lower average debt balances, but this was partially offset by lower capitalized interest, due to the recent completion of several large construction projects, including our Worldport expansion. Excluding the currency remeasurement charge, the 2009 decrease in interest expense was largely due to lower average debt balances and lower average interest rates incurred on variable rate debt and interest rate swaps.
Income Tax Expense
2010 compared to 2009
The increase in our effective tax rate in 2010 compared with 2009 was attributable to the higher marginal tax rate applied to the gain on the sale of real estate, as well as the change in the tax filing status of a German subsidiary that occurred in the first quarter of 2010. Additionally, we are currently unable to recognize the entire potential tax benefit of tax loss carryforwards generated from the sale of a Supply Chain & Freight business in Germany in the first quarter of 2010.
Excluding these items, our adjusted year-to-date effective tax rate decreased in 2010 compared to 2009 primarily due to the effect of having a higher proportion of our taxable income in 2010 being subject to tax outside the United States, where statutory tax rates are generally lower.
2009 compared to 2008
Income tax expense declined primarily due to lower pre-tax income. The decrease in our effective tax rate was primarily due to the goodwill and intangible impairment charges described previously, which were not deductible for tax purposes and resulted in the effective tax rate increasing by 4.1%. This was partially offset by an increase in our first quarter 2009 income tax provision as a result of providing a valuation allowance of $14 million against certain deferred tax assets in our International Package business.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Cash from operating activities remained strong throughout the 2008 to 2010 time period. In 2010, operating cash flow was reduced by $2.0 billion in discretionary contributions to our UPS Retirement and UPS Pension Plans, as well as an increase in working capital needs due to underlying growth in our business. In 2009, operating cash flow was adversely impacted by the decline in profitability for our three reporting segments. In 2008, operating cash flow increased by approximately $1.228 billion due to tax refunds received that year related to our previous withdrawal from the Central States Pension Plan. The following table provides a summary of the major items affecting our operating cash flows (in millions):
Except for the $2.0 billion discretionary contributions to our UPS Retirement and UPS Pension plans in 2010, contributions to our company-sponsored pension plans have largely varied based on whether any minimum funding requirements are present for individual pension plans. The remaining increases in contributions in 2010 and 2009 were largely due to minimum funding requirements related to the UPS IBT Pension Plan. As discussed further in the Contractual Commitments section, we have minimum funding requirements in the next several years, primarily related to the UPS IBT Pension Plan. In January 2011, we made a $1.2 billion contribution to the UPS IBT Pension Plan, which represented an acceleration of contributions that would have been required in 2011 and over $350 million in contributions that would not have been required until after 2011.
Our primary uses of cash flows for investing activities were for capital expenditures, as follows (amounts in millions):
We have commitments for the purchase of aircraft, vehicles, equipment and real estate to provide for the replacement of existing capacity and anticipated future growth. We generally fund our capital expenditures with our cash from operations. In 2010, we reduced capital spending to a level commensurate with our current anticipated operating needs. Future capital spending for anticipated growth and replacement assets will depend on a variety of factors, including economic and industry conditions.
The decline in capital expenditures on buildings and facilities primarily resulted from the completion of several large hub construction and expansion projects, including our Worldport hub expansion, as well as the expansion and new construction projects at other facilities in Europe, Canada and China. In 2009, we completed the first phase of our Worldport expansion, which increased the sorting capacity by 15%. The final phase of the Worldport expansion was completed in 2010, with an additional sorting capacity of approximately 20%. In 2008, we opened our new international air hub in Shanghai, China, and also began construction of our new intra-Asia air hub in Shenzhen, China, which became operational in February 2010.
Capital spending on aircraft over the 2008 to 2010 period was largely due to scheduled deliveries of previous orders for the Boeing 767-300 and 747-400, and MD-11 aircraft. Capital spending on vehicles was primarily for replacement assets in our package delivery and LTL operations. We anticipate that our capital expenditures for 2011 will be approximately $2.2 billion, or approximately 4% of revenue. Future capital spending for anticipated growth and replacement assets will depend on a variety of factors, including economic and industry conditions.
The increase in proceeds from the disposal of property, plant and equipment is largely due to real estate sales and the proceeds from insurance recoveries in 2010. The net change in finance receivables is primarily due to customer paydowns and new loan origination activity, primarily in our commercial lending, asset-based lending and leasing portfolios. The purchases and sales of marketable securities are largely determined by liquidity needs, and will therefore fluctuate from period to period.
Other investing activities include the cash settlement of derivative contracts used in our energy and currency hedging programs, the timing of aircraft purchase contract deposits on our Boeing 767-300 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft orders, and changes in restricted cash balances. We maintain an escrow agreement with an insurance carrier to guarantee our self-insurance obligations, and we deposited $95 and $191 million in cash collateral with the insurance carrier under this agreement during 2009 and 2008, respectively. We received (paid) cash related to purchases and settlements of energy and currency derivative contracts used in our hedging programs of $111, $117, and $(208) million during 2010, 2009, and 2008, respectively.
Our primary uses of cash flows for financing activities are to repurchase shares, pay cash dividends, and repay debt principal, as follows (amounts in millions, except per share data):
In January 2008, the Board of Directors approved an increase in our share repurchase authorization to $10.0 billion. Share repurchases may take the form of accelerated share repurchases, open market purchases, or other such methods as we deem appropriate. The timing of our share repurchases will depend upon market conditions. As a result of the uncertain economic environment in 2010 and 2009, we slowed our share repurchase activity, and repurchased shares at a rate that approximately offset the dilution from our stock compensation programs. Unless terminated earlier by the resolution of our Board, the program will expire when we have purchased all shares authorized for repurchase under the program. As of December 31, 2010, we had $5.194 billion of our share repurchase authorization remaining. In 2011, we anticipate increasing our share repurchase activity to approximately $2.0 billion.
The declaration of dividends is subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors and will depend on various factors, including our net income, financial condition, cash requirements, future prospects, and other relevant factors. We expect to continue the practice of paying regular cash dividends. In 2008, the Board of Directors approved an earlier payment schedule for the November dividend declaration, as in past years this dividend was payable the following January. As a result, a total of five dividend payments were made in 2008. In February 2011, we increased our quarterly dividend payment from $0.47 to $0.52 per share, an 11% increase.
In 2010, 2009, and 2008, we completed senior fixed rate note offerings of $2.0, $2.0, and $4.0 billion, respectively. These note offerings were used for various purposes, including discretionary contributions to UPS-sponsored pension plans, the retirement of existing debt instruments, and the refinancing of commercial paper that was used to fund our withdrawal from the Central States Pension Plan.
Other than commercial paper, repayments of debt consisted primarily of scheduled principal payments on our capital lease obligations, redemption of facilities bonds and the UPS Notes program, and principal payments on debt related to our investment in certain partnerships. We consider the overall fixed and floating interest rate mix of our portfolio and the related overall cost of borrowing when planning for future issuances and non-scheduled repayments of debt.
Cash received from common stock issuances to employees increased primarily due to additional stock option exercises in 2010. The cash outflows in other financing activities is largely due to repurchases of shares from employees to satisfy tax withholding obligations, as well as certain hedging activities on forecasted debt issuances. In conjunction with the senior fixed rate debt offerings in 2010, 2009 and 2008, we settled several interest rate derivatives that were designated as hedges of these debt offerings, which resulted in cash inflows (outflows) of $11, ($243) and ($84) million, respectively.
Sources of Credit
We are authorized to borrow up to $10.0 billion under our U.S. commercial paper program. As of December 31, 2010, we had $341 million of commercial paper outstanding, with an average interest rate of 0.18% and a weighted average maturity of 14 days. The amount of commercial paper outstanding in 2011 is expected to fluctuate. We also maintain a European commercial paper program under which we are authorized to borrow up to 1.0 billion in a variety of currencies, however no amounts were outstanding under this program as of December 31, 2010.
We maintain two credit agreements with a consortium of banks. One of these agreements provides revolving credit facilities of $1.5 billion, and expires on April 14, 2011. Interest on any amounts we borrow under this facility would be charged at 90-day LIBOR plus a percentage determined by quotations from Markit Group Ltd. for our 1-year credit default swap spread, subject to certain minimum rates and maximum rates based on our public debt ratings from Standard & Poors and Moodys. If our public debt ratings are A / A2 or above, the minimum applicable margin is 0.50% and the maximum applicable margin is 1.50%; if our public debt ratings are lower than A / A2, the minimum applicable margin is 1.00% and the maximum applicable margin is 2.50%.
The second agreement provides revolving credit facilities of $1.0 billion, and expires on April 19, 2012. Interest on any amounts we borrow under this facility would be charged at 90-day LIBOR plus 15 basis points. At December 31, 2010, there were no outstanding borrowings under either of these facilities.
Our existing debt instruments and credit facilities do not have cross-default or ratings triggers, however these debt instruments and credit facilities do subject us to certain financial covenants. As of December 31, 2010 and for all prior periods presented, we have satisfied these financial covenants. These covenants limit the amount of secured indebtedness that we may incur, and limit the amount of attributable debt in sale-leaseback transactions, to 10% of net tangible assets. As of December 31, 2010, 10% of net tangible assets is equivalent to $2.501 billion, however we have no covered sale-leaseback transactions or secured indebtedness outstanding. Additionally, we are required to maintain a minimum net worth, as defined, of $5.0 billion on a quarterly basis. As of December 31, 2010, our net worth, as defined, was equivalent to $14.174 billion. We do not expect these covenants to have a material impact on our financial condition or liquidity.
Guarantees and Other Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We do not have guarantees or other off-balance sheet financing arrangements, including variable interest entities, which we believe could have a material impact on financial condition or liquidity.
We have contractual obligations and commitments in the form of capital leases, operating leases, debt obligations, purchase commitments, and certain other liabilities. We intend to satisfy these obligations through the use of cash flow from operations. The following table summarizes the expected cash outflow to satisfy our contractual obligations and commitments as of December 31, 2010 (in millions):
Our capital lease obligations relate primarily to leases on aircraft. Capital leases, operating leases, and purchase commitments, as well as our debt principal obligations, are discussed further in Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements. The amount of interest on our debt was calculated as the contractual interest payments due on our fixed-rate debt, in addition to interest on variable rate debt that was calculated based on interest rates as of December 31, 2010. The calculations of debt interest take into account the effect of interest rate swap agreements. For debt denominated in a foreign currency, the U.S. Dollar equivalent principal amount of the debt at the end of the year was used as the basis to calculate future interest payments.
Purchase commitments represent contractual agreements to purchase goods or services that are legally binding, the largest of which are orders for aircraft, engines, and parts. As of December 31, 2010, we have firm commitments to purchase 20 Boeing 767-300ER freighters to be delivered between 2011 and 2013, and two Boeing 747-400F aircraft scheduled for delivery during 2011. These aircraft purchase orders will provide for the replacement of existing capacity and anticipated future growth.
Pension fundings represent the anticipated required cash contributions that will be made to our qualified pension plans. These contributions include those to the UPS IBT Pension Plan, which was established upon ratification of the national master agreement with the Teamsters, as well as the UPS Pension Plan. These plans are discussed further in Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements. The pension funding requirements were estimated under the provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, using discount rates, asset returns, and other assumptions appropriate for these plans. To the extent that the funded status of these plans in future years differs from our current projections, the actual contributions made in future years could materially differ from the amounts shown in the table above. Additionally, we have not included minimum funding requirements beyond 2015, because these projected contributions are not reasonably determinable.
We are not subject to any minimum funding requirement for cash contributions in 2011 in the UPS Retirement Plan or UPS Pension Plan. The amount of any minimum funding requirement, as applicable, for these plans could change significantly in future periods, depending on many factors, including future plan asset returns and discount rates. A sustained significant decline in the world equity markets, and the resulting impact on our pension assets and investment returns, could result in our domestic pension plans being subject to significantly higher minimum funding requirements. Such an outcome could have a material adverse impact on our financial position and cash flows in future periods.
The contractual payments due for other liabilities primarily include commitment payments related to our investment in certain partnerships. The table above does not include approximately $284 million of liabilities for
uncertain tax positions because we are uncertain if or when such amounts will ultimately be settled in cash. In addition, we also have recognized assets associated with uncertain tax positions in excess of the related liabilities such that we do not believe a net contractual obligation exists to the taxing authorities. Uncertain tax positions are further discussed in Note 12 to the consolidated financial statements.
As of December 31, 2010, we had outstanding letters of credit totaling approximately $1.580 billion issued in connection with routine business requirements. We also issue surety bonds as an alternative to letters of credit in certain instances, and as of December 31, 2010, we had $577 million of surety bonds written. As of December 31, 2010, we had unfunded loan commitments totaling $602 million associated with our financial business.
We believe that funds from operations and borrowing programs will provide adequate sources of liquidity and capital resources to meet our expected long-term needs for the operation of our business, including anticipated capital expenditures, such as commitments for aircraft purchases, for the foreseeable future.
We are a defendant in a number of lawsuits filed in state and federal courts containing various class action allegations under state wage-and-hour laws. In one of these cases, Marlo v. UPS, which was certified as a class action in a California federal court in September 2004, plaintiffs allege that they improperly were denied overtime, and seek penalties for missed meal and rest periods, and interest and attorneys fees. Plaintiffs purport to represent a class of 1,300 full-time supervisors. In August 2005, the court granted summary judgment in favor of UPS on all claims, and plaintiffs appealed the ruling. In October 2007, the appeals court reversed the lower courts ruling. In April 2008, the Court decertified the class and vacated the trial scheduled for that month. After decertification, some plaintiffs filed individual lawsuits raising the same allegations as in the underlying class action. These individual lawsuits are in various stages. We have denied any liability with respect to these claims and intend to vigorously defend ourselves in these cases. At this time, we have not determined the amount of any liability that may result from these matters or whether such liability, if any, would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
UPS and our subsidiary Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. are defendants in various lawsuits brought by franchisees who operate Mail Boxes Etc. centers and The UPS Store locations. These lawsuits relate to the rebranding of Mail Boxes Etc. centers to The UPS Store, The UPS Store business model, the representations made in connection with the rebranding and the sale of The UPS Store franchises, and UPSs sale of services in the franchisees territories. In one of the actions, which is pending in California state court, the court certified a class consisting of all Mail Boxes Etc. branded stores that rebranded to The UPS Store in March 2003. We have denied any liability with respect to these claims and intend to defend ourselves vigorously. At this time, we have not determined the amount of any liability that may result from these matters or whether such liability, if any, would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
In Barber Auto Sales v. UPS, which a federal court in Alabama certified as a class action in September 2009, the plaintiff asserts a breach of contract claim arising from UPSs assessment of shipping charge corrections when UPS determines that the dimensional weight of packages is greater than reported by the shipper. We have denied any liability with respect to these claims and intend to vigorously defend ourselves in this case. At this time, we have not determined the amount of any liability that may result from this matter or whether such liability, if any, would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
In AFMS LLC v. UPS and FedEx Corporation, a lawsuit filed in federal court in the Central District of California in August 2010, the plaintiff asserts that UPS and FedEx violated U.S. antitrust law by conspiring to refuse to negotiate with third party negotiators retained by shippers and/or to monopolize a so-called market for
the time sensitive delivery of letters and packages. The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has informed us that it has opened a civil investigation of our policies and practices for dealing with third party negotiators. We are cooperating with this investigation. We deny any liability with respect to these matters and intend to vigorously defend ourselves. At this time, we have not determined the amount of any liability that may result from these matters or whether such liability, if any, would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
We are a defendant in various other lawsuits that arose in the normal course of business. We believe that the eventual resolution of these cases will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
We file income tax returns in the U.S. federal jurisdiction, most U.S. state and local jurisdictions, and many non-U.S. jurisdictions. We have substantially resolved all U.S. federal income tax matters for tax years prior to 2003. During the fourth quarter of 2010, we received a refund of $139 million as a result of the resolution of tax years 2003 through 2004 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Appeals Office. Along with the audit for tax years 2005 through 2007, the IRS is currently examining non-income based taxes, including employment and excise taxes, which could lead to proposed assessments. The IRS has not presented an official position with regard to these taxes at this time, and therefore we are not able to determine the technical merit of any potential assessment. We anticipate receipt of the IRS reports on these matters by the end of the second quarter of 2011. We have filed all required U.S. state and local returns reporting the result of the resolution of the U.S. federal income tax audit of the tax years 2003 and 2004. A limited number of U.S. state and local matters are the subject of ongoing audits, administrative appeals or litigation.
As of December 31, 2010, we had approximately 250,000 employees employed under a national master agreement and various supplemental agreements with local unions affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters). These agreements run through July 31, 2013. We have approximately 2,800 pilots who are employed under a collective bargaining agreement with the Independent Pilots Association (IPA), which becomes amendable at the end of 2011. Our airline mechanics are covered by a collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local 2727, which became amendable in November 2006. We began formal negotiations with Teamsters Local 2727 in October 2006, and have been under the guidance of the National Mediation Board since January 2008. In January 2011, we reached a tentative agreement with Teamsters Local 2727 which will run through November 1, 2013 when ratified. In addition, the majority (approximately 3,300) of our ground mechanics who are not employed under agreements with the Teamsters are employed under collective bargaining agreements with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). Our agreement with the IAM runs through July 31, 2014.
We participate in a number of trustee-managed multi-employer pension and health and welfare plans for employees covered under collective bargaining agreements. Several factors could cause us to make significantly higher future contributions to these plans, including unfavorable investment performance, changes in demographics, and increased benefits to participants. At this time, we are unable to determine the amount of additional future contributions, if any, or whether any material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, or liquidity would result from our participation in these plans.
In January 2008, a class action complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York alleging price-fixing activities relating to the provision of freight forwarding services. UPS was not named in this case. On July 21, 2009, the plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint naming numerous global freight forwarders as defendants. UPS and UPS Supply Chain Solutions are among the 60 defendants named in the amended complaint. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves in this case. At this time, we have not determined the amount of any liability that may result from these matters or whether such liability, if any, would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
We received a grand jury subpoena from the Antitrust Division of the DOJ regarding the DOJs investigation into certain pricing practices in the freight forwarding industry in December 2007.
In October 2007, June 2008, and February 2009, we received information requests from the European Commission (Commission) relating to its investigation of certain pricing practices in the freight forwarding industry, and subsequently responded to each request. On February 9, 2010, UPS received a Statement of Objections by the Commission. This document contains the Commissions preliminary view with respect to alleged anticompetitive behavior in the freight forwarding industry by 18 freight forwarders, including UPS. Although it alleges anticompetitive behavior, it does not prejudge the Commissions final decision, as to facts or law (which is subject to appeal to the European courts). The options available to the Commission include taking no action or imposing a monetary fine; the range of any potential action by the Commission is not reasonably estimable. Any decision imposing a fine would be subject to appeal. UPS has responded to the Statement of Objections, including at a July 2010 Commission hearing, and we intend to continue to vigorously defend ourselves in this proceeding. We received an additional information request from the Commission in January 2011, and will respond in due course.
In August 2010, competition authorities in Brazil opened an administrative proceeding to investigate alleged anticompetitive behavior in the freight forwarding industry. Approximately 45 freight forwarding companies and individuals are named in the proceeding, including UPS, UPS SCS Transportes (Brasil) S.A., and a former employee in Brazil. UPS will have an opportunity to respond to these allegations.
We also received and responded to related information requests from competition authorities in other jurisdictions.
We are cooperating with each of these investigations, and intend to continue to vigorously defend ourselves. At this time, we are unable to determine the amount of any liability that may result from these matters or whether any such liability would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
Health Care Legislation
The enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 in 2010 will bring significant changes to the U.S. health care system. The legislation eliminated the tax deductibility of Medicare Part D subsidies for retiree prescription drug coverage; however, this impact was not material to our financial results. We are evaluating the long-term impacts of this legislation on us. It is difficult to estimate the impact due to the nature of our workforce, the various years in which certain provisions become applicable, and the fact that additional regulatory and rulemaking actions will be occurring. Our current estimate is that we will incur an additional $50 to $65 million of annual expense beginning in 2011 associated with active employee healthcare coverage, which is primarily due to the multiple coverage provisions of the legislation which require the expansion of dependent coverage to age 26, among other requirements. The December 31, 2010 accumulated postretirement benefit obligation for the postretirement medical plans increased by $37 million due to the excise tax associated with the legislation.
In October 2010, we announced that an increase in base rates and changes in our fuel surcharge for package shipments that took effect January 3, 2011. UPS Ground service rates increased a net 4.9% through a combination of a 5.9% increase in rates and a 1% reduction in the index used to determine the ground fuel surcharge. UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 3 Day Select, and international air shipments originating in the United States (including Worldwide Express, Worldwide Express Plus, UPS Worldwide Expedited and UPS International Standard Service) increased a net 4.9%, through a combination of a 6.9% increase in base rates and a 2% reduction in the index used to determine the air fuel surcharge. These rate changes are customary and occur on an annual basis. Rate changes for shipments originating outside the U.S. are made throughout the year and vary by geographic market.
Also in October 2010, we announced a 5.9% general rate increase for our UPS Freight LTL unit, which took effect October 18, 2010. The increase covers non-contractual shipments in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and applies to minimum charge, LTL rates and accessorial charges.
New Accounting Pronouncements
Recently Adopted Accounting Standards
Provisions within the following accounting standards were adopted during the years covered by these financial statements:
Financial Instruments: The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued guidance in February 2007 that gives entities the option to measure eligible financial assets, financial liabilities and firm commitments at fair value (i.e., the fair value option), on an instrument-by-instrument basis, that are otherwise not accounted for at fair value under other accounting standards. The election to use the fair value option is available at specified election dates, such as when an entity first recognizes a financial asset or financial liability or upon entering into a firm commitment. Subsequent changes in fair value must be recorded in earnings. Additionally, this guidance allowed for a one-time election for existing positions upon adoption, with the transition adjustment recorded to beginning retained earnings. We adopted this standard on January 1, 2008, and elected to apply the fair value option to our investment in certain investment partnerships that were previously accounted for under the equity method. Accordingly, we recorded a $16 million reduction to retained earnings as of January 1, 2008. These investments are reported in other non-current assets on the consolidated balance sheets.
Compensation-Retirement Benefits: We previously utilized the early measurement date option available in accounting for our pension and postretirement medical benefit plans, and we measured the funded status of our plans as of September 30 each year. Under guidance issued by the FASB, we were required to use a December 31 measurement date for all of our pension and postretirement benefit plans beginning in 2008. As a result of this change in measurement date, we recorded a cumulative effect after-tax $44 million reduction to retained earnings as of January 1, 2008.
Beginning in 2009, new guidance was adopted that required disclosures about plan assets of a defined benefit pension or other postretirement plan, investment policies and strategies, major categories of plan assets, inputs and valuation techniques used to measure the fair value of plan assets and significant concentrations of risk within plan assets. These disclosures are provided in Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements.
Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures: The FASB issued guidance on fair value measurements that took effect on January 1, 2008 and are presented in Notes 2, 3, 4, 5, and 14 to the consolidated financial statements. On January 1, 2009, we implemented the previously deferred provisions of this guidance for nonfinancial assets and liabilities recorded at fair value. The accounting requirements for determining fair value when the volume and level of activity for an asset or liability have significantly decreased, and for identifying transactions that are not orderly, contained the FASBs guidance were adopted on April 1, 2009, but had an immaterial impact on our financial statements.
Derivatives and Hedging: The FASB issued certain disclosure requirements for derivatives and hedging transactions that took effect on January 1, 2009 and are presented in Note 14.
Business Combinations: The FASB issued new accounting requirements for business combinations, which took effect on January 1, 2009. This new guidance was applied to business combinations completed in 2009, but had an immaterial impact on our financial statements.
Consolidation: The FASB issued accounting and presentation requirements for noncontrolling interests, which took effect on January 1, 2009, however this new guidance had an immaterial impact on our financial statements.
Accounting Standards Issued But Not Yet Effective
Accounting guidance issued, but not effective until after December 31, 2010, are not expected to have a significant effect on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based on our consolidated financial statements, which are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. As indicated in Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements, the amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses reported in our financial statements are affected by estimates and judgments that are necessary to comply with generally accepted accounting principles. We base our estimates on prior experience and other assumptions that we consider reasonable to our circumstances. Actual results could differ from our estimates, which would affect the related amounts reported in our financial statements. While estimates and judgments are applied in arriving at many reported amounts, we believe that the following matters may involve a higher degree of judgment and complexity.
As discussed in Note 8 to our consolidated financial statements, we are involved in various legal proceedings and contingencies. We record a liability based on our estimate of the probable cost of the resolution of a contingency. The actual resolution of these contingencies may differ from our estimates. If a contingency is settled for an amount greater than our estimate, a future charge to income would result. Likewise, if a contingency is settled for an amount that is less than our estimate, a future credit to income would result.
The events that may impact our contingent liabilities are often unique and generally are not predictable. At the time a contingency is identified, we consider all relevant facts as part of our evaluation. We record a liability for a loss when the loss is probable of occurring and reasonably estimable. Events may arise that were not anticipated and the outcome of a contingency may result in a loss to us that differs from our previously estimated liability. These factors could result in a material difference between estimated and actual operating results. Contingent losses that are probable and estimable, excluding those related to income taxes and self insurance which are discussed further below, were not material to the Companys financial position as of December 31, 2010. In addition, we have certain contingent liabilities that have not been recognized as of December 31, 2010, because a loss is not reasonably estimable.
Goodwill and Intangible Impairment
We perform impairment testing of goodwill for each of our reporting units on an annual basis. Our reporting units are comprised of the Europe, Asia, and Americas reporting units in the International Package reporting segment, and the Forwarding & Logistics, UPS Freight, MBE / UPS Store, and UPS Capital reporting units in the Supply Chain & Freight reporting segment. Our annual goodwill impairment testing date is October 1st for each
reporting unit. The impairment test involves a two-step process. First, a comparison of the fair value of the applicable reporting unit with the aggregate carrying values, including goodwill, is performed. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds the reporting units fair value, we perform the second step of the goodwill impairment test to determine the amount of impairment loss. The second step includes comparing the implied fair value of the affected reporting units goodwill with the carrying value of that goodwill.
We primarily determine the fair value of our reporting units using a discounted cash flow model (DCF model), and supplement this with observable valuation multiples for comparable companies, as applicable. The completion of the DCF model requires that we make a number of significant assumptions to produce an estimate of future cash flows. These assumptions include projections of future revenue, costs and working capital changes. In addition, we make assumptions about the estimated cost of capital and other relevant variables, as required, in estimating the fair value of our reporting units. The projections that we use in our DCF model are updated annually and will change over time based on the historical performance and changing business conditions for each of our reporting units. The determination of whether goodwill is impaired involves a significant level of judgment in these assumptions, and changes in our business strategy, government regulations, or economic or market conditions could significantly impact these judgments. We will continue to monitor market conditions and other factors to determine if interim impairment tests are necessary in future periods. If impairment indicators are present in future periods, the resulting impairment charges could have a material impact on our results of operations.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, we completed our annual goodwill impairment testing and determined that our UPS Freight reporting unit, which was formed through the acquisition of Overnite Corporation in 2005, had a goodwill impairment of $548 million. This impairment charge resulted from several factors, including a lower cash flow forecast due to a longer estimated economic recovery time for the LTL sector, and significant deterioration in equity valuations for other similar LTL industry participants. At the time of acquisition of Overnite Corporation, LTL equity valuations were higher and the economy was significantly stronger. We invested in operational improvements and technology upgrades to enhance service and performance, as well as expand service offerings. However, this process took longer than initially anticipated, and thus financial results had been below our expectations. Additionally, the LTL sector in 2008 had been adversely impacted by the economic recession in the U.S., lower industrial production and retail sales, volatile fuel prices, and significant levels of price-based competition. By the fourth quarter of 2008, the combination of these internal and external factors reduced our near term expectations for this unit, leading to the goodwill impairment charge.
None of the other reporting units incurred an impairment of goodwill in 2008, nor did we have any goodwill impairment charges in 2009 or 2010. Changes in our forecasts could cause book values of our reporting units to exceed their fair values in future periods, potentially resulting in a goodwill impairment charge. A 10% decrease in the estimated fair value of our reporting units as of our most recent goodwill testing date (October 1, 2010) would not result in a goodwill impairment charge.
All of our recorded intangible assets other than goodwill are deemed to be finite-lived intangibles, and are thus amortized over their estimated useful lives. Impairment tests for these intangible assets are only performed when a triggering event occurs that indicates that the carrying value of the intangible may not be recoverable based on the undiscounted future cash flows of the intangible. If the carrying amount of the intangible is determined not to be recoverable, a write-down to fair value is recorded. Fair values are determined based on a DCF model. As a result of weak performance in our domestic U.K. package operations, we reviewed our intangible assets for impairment within our U.K. domestic package entity. Based on prior performance and near-term projections, the value assigned to the customer list intangible asset acquired within the UK domestic package business was determined to be impaired. This impairment was the result of both higher than anticipated customer turnover and reduced operating margins associated with the acquired business. Accordingly, an intangible asset impairment charge of $27 million was recorded for the year ended December 31, 2008. No other intangible asset impairments were recognized in 2008, nor were any such impairments recognized in 2009 or 2010.
We self-insure costs associated with workers compensation claims, automotive liability, health and welfare, and general business liabilities, up to certain limits. Insurance reserves are established for estimates of the loss that we will ultimately incur on reported claims, as well as estimates of claims that have been incurred but not yet reported. Recorded balances are based on reserve levels, which incorporate historical loss experience and judgments about the present and expected levels of cost per claim. Trends in actual experience are a significant factor in the determination of such reserves. We believe our estimated reserves for such claims are adequate, but actual experience in claim frequency and/or severity could materially differ from our estimates and affect our results of operations.
Workers compensation, automobile liability and general liability insurance claims may take several years to completely settle. Consequently, actuarial estimates are required to project the ultimate cost that will be incurred to fully resolve the claims. A number of factors can affect the actual cost of a claim, including the length of time the claim remains open, trends in health care costs and the results of related litigation. Furthermore, claims may emerge in future years for events that occurred in a prior year at a rate that differs from previous actuarial projections. Changes in state legislation with respect to workers compensation can affect the adequacy of our self-insurance accruals. All of these factors can result in revisions to prior actuarial projections and produce a material difference between estimated and actual operating results.
We sponsor a number of health and welfare insurance plans for our employees. These liabilities and related expenses are based on estimates of the number of employees and eligible dependents covered under the plans, anticipated medical usage by participants and overall trends in medical costs and inflation. Actual results may differ from these estimates and, therefore, produce a material difference between estimated and actual operating results.
Fair Value Measurements
In the normal course of business, we hold and issue financial instruments that contain elements of market risk, including derivatives, marketable securities, finance receivables, other investments, and debt. Certain of these financial instruments are required to be recorded at fair value, principally derivatives, marketable securities, pension assets, and certain other investments. Fair values are based on listed market prices, when such prices are available. To the extent that listed market prices are not available, fair value is determined based on other relevant factors, including dealer price quotations. Certain financial instruments, including over-the-counter derivative instruments, are valued using pricing models that consider, among other factors, contractual and market prices, correlations, time value, credit spreads, and yield curve volatility factors. Changes in the fixed income, equity, foreign exchange, and commodity markets will impact our estimates of fair value in the future, potentially affecting our results of operations. A quantitative sensitivity analysis of our exposure to changes in commodity prices, foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, and equity prices is presented in the Market Risk section of this report.
Pension and Postretirement Medical Benefits
As discussed in Note 5 to our consolidated financial statements, we maintain several single-employer defined benefit and postretirement benefit plans. Our pension and other postretirement benefit costs are calculated using various actuarial assumptions and methodologies. These assumptions include discount rates, health care cost trend rates, inflation, compensation increase rates, expected returns on plan assets, mortality rates, and other factors. Actual results that differ from our assumptions are accumulated and amortized over future periods and, therefore, generally affect our recognized expense and recorded obligation in such future periods. We believe that the assumptions utilized in recording the obligations under our plans are reasonable, and represent our best estimates, based on information as to historical experience and performance as well as other factors that might cause future expectations to differ from past trends. Differences in actual experience or changes in assumptions may affect our pension and other postretirement obligations and future expense. A 25
basis point change in the assumed discount rate, expected return on assets, and health care cost trend rate for the U.S. pension and postretirement benefit plans would have resulted in the following increases (decreases) on the Companys reported costs and obligations for the year 2010 (in millions):
Our 2011 pension expense will be higher than our 2010 expense due primarily to two negative factors: the decline in discount rate used to determine expense from 6.58% for 2010 to 5.98% for 2011, and the required amortization of unrecognized losses, the majority of which relate to 2008 asset losses, outside of the corridor we utilize for accounting purposes. These negative factors are partially offset by the additional discretionary contributions that we made in 2010 and 2011 that increased the expected return on assets used for expense calculation purposes.
Depreciation, Residual Value, and Impairment of Fixed Assets
As of December 31, 2010, we had $17.387 billion of net fixed assets, the most significant category of which is aircraft. In accounting for fixed assets, we make estimates about the expected useful lives and the expected residual values of the assets, and the potential for impairment based on the fair values of the assets and the cash flows generated by these assets.
In estimating the lives and expected residual values of aircraft, we have relied upon actual experience with the same or similar aircraft types. Subsequent revisions to these estimates could be caused by changes to our maintenance program, changes in the utilization of the aircraft, governmental regulations on aging aircraft, and changing market prices of new and used aircraft of the same or similar types. We periodically evaluate these estimates and assumptions, and adjust the estimates and assumptions as necessary. Adjustments to the expected lives and residual values are accounted for on a prospective basis through depreciation expense.
We review long-lived assets for impairment when circumstances indicate the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable based on the undiscounted future cash flows of the asset. If the carrying amount of the asset is determined not to be recoverable, a write-down to fair value is recorded. Fair values are determined based on quoted market values, discounted cash flows, or external appraisals, as applicable. We review long-lived assets for impairment at the individual asset or the asset group level for which the lowest level of independent cash flows can be identified. The circumstances that would indicate potential impairment may include, but are not limited to, a significant change in the extent to which an asset is utilized, a significant decrease in the market value of an asset, and operating or cash flow losses associated with the use of the asset. In estimating cash flows, we project future volume levels for our different air express products in all geographic regions in which we do business. Adverse changes in these volume forecasts, or a shortfall of our actual volume compared with our
projections, could result in our current aircraft capacity exceeding current or projected demand. This situation would lead to an excess of a particular aircraft type, resulting in an aircraft impairment charge or a reduction of the expected life of an aircraft type (thus resulting in increased depreciation expense).
In 2008, we had announced that we were in negotiations with DHL to provide air transportation services for all of DHLs express, deferred and international package volume within the United States, as well as air transportation services between the United States, Canada and Mexico. In early April 2009, UPS and DHL mutually agreed to terminate further discussions on providing these services. Additionally, our U.S. Domestic Package air delivery volume had declined for several quarters as a result of persistent economic weakness and shifts in product mix from our premium air services to our lower cost ground services. As a result of these factors, the utilization of certain aircraft fleet types had declined and was expected to be lower in the future.
Based on the factors noted above, as well as FAA aging aircraft directives that would require significant future maintenance expenditures, we determined that a triggering event had occurred that required an impairment assessment of our McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-71 and DC-8-73 aircraft fleets. We conducted an impairment analysis as of March 31, 2009, and determined that the carrying amount of these fleets was not recoverable due to the accelerated expected retirement dates of the aircraft. Based on anticipated residual values for the airframes, engines, and parts, we recognized an impairment charge of $181 million in the first quarter of 2009. The DC-8 fleets were subsequently retired from service.
We make certain estimates and judgments in determining income tax expense for financial statement purposes. These estimates and judgments occur in the calculation of income by legal entity and jurisdiction, tax credits, benefits, and deductions, and in the calculation of certain tax assets and liabilities, which arise from differences in the timing of recognition of revenue and expense for tax and financial statement purposes, as well as the interest and penalties related to these uncertain tax positions. Significant changes to these estimates may result in an increase or decrease to our tax provision in a subsequent period.
We assess the likelihood that we will be able to recover our deferred tax assets. If recovery is not likely, we must increase our provision for taxes by recording a valuation allowance against the deferred tax assets that we estimate will not ultimately be recoverable. We believe that we will ultimately recover a substantial majority of the deferred tax assets recorded on our consolidated balance sheets. However, should there be a change in our ability to recover our deferred tax assets, our tax provision would increase in the period in which we determined that the recovery was not likely.
The calculation of our tax liabilities involves dealing with uncertainties in the application of complex tax regulations. We recognize liabilities for uncertain tax positions based on a two-step process. The first step is to evaluate the tax position for recognition by determining if the weight of available evidence indicates that it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained on audit, including resolution of related appeals or litigation processes, if any. Once it is determined that the position meets the recognition threshold, the second step requires us to estimate and measure the tax benefit as the largest amount that is more likely than not to be realized upon ultimate settlement. It is inherently difficult and subjective to estimate such amounts, as we have to determine the probability of various possible outcomes. We reevaluate these uncertain tax positions on a quarterly basis. This evaluation is based on factors including, but not limited to, changes in facts or circumstances, changes in tax law, effectively settled issues under audit, and new audit activity. Such a change in recognition or measurement could result in the recognition of a tax benefit or an additional charge to the tax provision.
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
Losses on accounts receivable are recognized when they are incurred, which requires us to make our best estimate of the probable losses inherent in our customer receivables at each balance sheet date. These estimates
require consideration of historical loss experience, adjusted for current conditions, trends in customer payment frequency, and judgments about the probable effects of relevant observable data, including present economic conditions and the financial health of specific customers and market sectors. Our risk management process includes standards and policies for reviewing major account exposures and concentrations of risk. Deterioration in macro economic variables could result in our ultimate loss exposures on our accounts receivable being significantly higher than what we have currently estimated and reserved for in our allowance for doubtful accounts. Our total allowance for doubtful accounts as of December 31, 2010 and 2009 was $127 and $138 million, respectively. Our total provision for doubtful accounts charged to expense during the years ended December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008 was $199, $254 and $277 million, respectively.
We are exposed to market risk from changes in certain commodity prices, foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, and equity prices. All of these market risks arise in the normal course of business, as we do not engage in speculative trading activities. In order to manage the risk arising from these exposures, we utilize a variety of commodity, foreign exchange, and interest rate forward contracts, options, and swaps. A discussion of our accounting policies for derivative instruments and further disclosures are provided in Note 14 to the consolidated financial statements.
Commodity Price Risk
We are exposed to changes in the prices of refined fuels, principally jet-A, diesel, and unleaded gasoline. Currently, the fuel surcharges that we apply to our domestic and international package and LTL services are the primary means of reducing the risk of adverse fuel price changes. Additionally, we periodically use a combination of option contracts to provide partial protection from changing fuel and energy prices. As of December 31, 2010 and 2009, however, we had no commodity option contracts outstanding.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, we terminated several energy derivatives and received $87 million in cash. This transaction was reported in other investing activities in the statements of consolidated cash flows. As these derivatives qualified for hedge accounting, were designated as hedges, and maintained their effectiveness, the gains associated with these hedges were recognized in income over the original term of the hedges, which extended through the first quarter of 2009.
Foreign Currency Exchange Risk
We have foreign currency risks related to our revenue, operating expenses, and financing transactions in currencies other than the local currencies in which we operate. We are exposed to currency risk from the potential changes in functional currency values of our foreign currency-denominated assets, liabilities, and cash flows. Our most significant foreign currency exposures relate to the Euro, the British Pound Sterling and the Canadian Dollar. We use a combination of purchased and written options and forward contracts to hedge forecasted cash flow currency exposures. These derivative instruments generally cover forecasted foreign currency exposures for periods of 12 to 24 months. Additionally, we utilize cross-currency interest rate swaps to hedge the currency risk inherent in the interest and principal payments associated with foreign currency denominated debt obligations. The term of these swap agreements is commensurate with the underlying debt obligations.
Interest Rate Risk
We have issued debt instruments, including debt associated with capital leases, that accrue expense at fixed and floating rates of interest. We use a combination of interest rate swaps as part of our program to manage the fixed and floating interest rate mix of our total debt portfolio and related overall cost of borrowing. The notional amount, interest payment, and maturity dates of the swaps match the terms of the associated debt. We also utilize
forward starting swaps and similar instruments to lock in all or a portion of the borrowing cost of anticipated debt issuances. Our floating rate debt and interest rate swaps subject us to risk resulting from changes in short-term (primarily LIBOR) interest rates.
We also are subject to interest rate risk with respect to our pension and postretirement benefit obligations, as changes in interest rates will effectively increase or decrease our liabilities associated with these benefit plans, which also results in changes to the amount of pension and postretirement benefit expense recognized in future periods.
We have investments in debt and preferred equity securities (including auction rate securities), as well as cash-equivalent instruments, some of which accrue income at variable rates of interest. Additionally, we hold a portfolio of finance receivables that accrue income at fixed and floating rates of interest.
Equity Price Risk
We hold investments in various common equity securities that are subject to price risk. These securities are primarily in the form of equity index funds.
The forward contracts, swaps, and options previously discussed contain an element of risk that the counterparties may be unable to meet the terms of the agreements. However, we minimize such risk exposures for these instruments by limiting the counterparties to financial institutions that meet established credit guidelines. We do not expect to incur any material losses as a result of counterparty default.
The following analysis provides quantitative information regarding our exposure to commodity price risk, foreign currency exchange risk, interest rate risk, and equity price risk embedded in our existing financial instruments. We utilize valuation models to evaluate the sensitivity of the fair value of financial instruments with exposure to market risk that assume instantaneous, parallel shifts in exchange rates, interest rate yield curves, and commodity and equity prices. For options and instruments with non-linear returns, models appropriate to the instrument are utilized to determine the impact of market shifts.
There are certain limitations inherent in the sensitivity analyses presented, primarily due to the assumption that exchange rates change in a parallel fashion and that interest rates change instantaneously. In addition, the analyses are unable to reflect the complex market reactions that normally would arise from the market shifts modeled. While this is our best estimate of the impact of the specified interest rate scenarios, these estimates should not be viewed as forecasts. We adjust the fixed and floating interest rate mix of our interest rate sensitive assets and liabilities in response to changes in market conditions. Additionally, changes in the fair value of foreign currency derivatives and commodity derivatives are offset by changes in the cash flows of the underlying hedged foreign currency and commodity transactions.
The sensitivity of our pension and postretirement benefit obligations to changes in interest rates is quantified in Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates. The sensitivity in the fair value and interest income of our marketable securities due to changes in equity prices and interest rates