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UPS is America's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. It has operated its own dedicated airline since 1988, and now ranks among the ten largest air carriers worldwide, with 625 aircraft of its own or under charter. Although the majority of its revenues are still generated in the US, the group has an extensive global network, and is attempting to develop both its range of services and its international presence through acquisition. In 2012, it agreed terms for the acquisition of European rival TNT Express for €5.2bn. However that deal met with strong objections from EU regulators, forcing UPS to withdraw its offer at the beginning of 2013. UPS is also comparatively weak in the fast-developing Asian market, which it serves mostly through affiliates.

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Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Apr 2015: Delivery giant FedEx is to expand its presence in Europe with the acquisition of regional rival TNT Express for €4.4bn. The Dutch group is currently controlled by the Netherlands's main postal services supplier PostNL via a minority stake. An attempt by FedEx's US rival UPS to buy the business two years ago for €5.2bn was blocked by regulators on competition grounds, because UPS already had a significant presence in Europe. However, FedEx is much less established in the region and says it does not expect any such regulatory problems. TNT has around 12% share of regional deliveries, according to ING, more than double FedEx's 5%. The merger would catapult the combined business into second place ahead of UPS, which has 16%. Market leader DHL commands 19% share. 

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Free for all users | see full profile for current activities: UPS was founded in 1907 by enterprising teenager James E Casey in Seattle, Washington. Originally known as the American Messenger Company, Casey employed the services of other teenagers to run local errands within the city, delivering packages, baggage and even trays of food from restaurants. Gradually the business grew, acquiring motorcycles, then automobiles. It expanded to California in 1919, changing its name to United Parcel Service of America, then to the East Coast in 1930. In the 1950s the company went into direct competition with the US Postal Service for the first time, gradually acquiring rights, often through the law courts, to deliver packages in selected US states between all private and commercial customers. 

It wasn't until 1975 that the company was finally able to piece together full national coverage across the US. Limited local service launched in Germany in 1976, and the company established international air service between the US and six European markets in 1985. In the late 1980s, the group rapidly extended its international network, linking in to local operators where necessary. In 2001 the group acquired Mail Boxes Etc, a US business launched some 20 years earlier with the aim of providing a convenient alternative to the US Post Office network. Virtually all US Mail Boxes Etc outlets adopted the UPS Store brand in 2003. In 2004, the group bought out its local partner to take full control of UPS Yamato Express in Japan, and also acquired US freight forwarding service Menlo. It bought out its Chinese joint venture partner in 2005.

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