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UPS to acquire reverse logistics firm Happy Returns

UPS to acquire reverse logistics firm Happy Returns
UPS to acquire reverse logistics firm Happy Returns

Logistics giant UPS announced it will acquire software and reverse logistics company Happy Returns. 

Los Angeles-based Happy Returns provides no-box, no-label returns to merchants and customers. Its network consists of over 10,000 box-free return locations in the US. 

Easy returns for customers 

Happy Returns was founded by David Sobie and Mark Geller in July 2015. The business offers a range of software returns solutions. Users can access a returns portal and make a box-free return at a location. The item is shipped, sorted, and returned to a merchant. 

The reverse logistics firm was acquired by PayPal in 2021. 

UPS’ CEO Carol Tomé says shoppers and retailers have long been frustrated about returns. “By combining Happy Returns’ easy digital experience and established drop-off points with UPS’s small package network and footprint of close to 5,200 UPS Store locations, box-free, label-free returns will soon be available at more than 12,000 convenient locations in the US,” she says. 

Happy Returns’ CEO David Sobie will stay at the helm post-transaction.  “In recent years, the growth of Happy Returns has accelerated, and we’ve built an enterprise-grade solution. This new chapter is a natural next step for Happy Returns and allows us to harness the power of the UPS network to transform the returns industry,” he says. 

UPS acquiring companies 

The company was founded in 1907 by Claude Ryan and Jim Casey in a Seattle basement with a $100 loan. It first took the name American Messenger Company, but in 1919, the name United Parcel Service made its debut. The company would become the world’s largest package delivery service. 

The acquisition of Happy Returns is the company’s second in recent weeks. In September, UPS announced it would acquire MNX Global Logistics, a global time-critical logistics provider that services the healthcare sector and other industries. 

UPS has a healthcare unit called UPS Healthcare that offers end-to-end logistics for healthcare patients globally. It has cold chain solutions that ensure items arrive on time and at being kept at the optimal temperature. 

In November 2022, UP completed its acquisition of healthcare logistics provider Bomi Group. This business move sees UPS add temperature-controlled facilities in 14 countries. 

The acquisition of Happy Returns is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023.  

Parcel delivery market

In its global parcel delivery market report for 2023-2029, Maximize Market Research, a market research company, says the delivery sector has gone through various innovation stages. This is as a result of the world’s expanding digitization, including the adoption of GPS and RFID technologies to track cars and goods. 

“Technological improvements, such as using digital technology with crowd-sourced delivery models, are also boosting the market’s prospects. These technologies help service providers improve their overall operating efficiency and efficiently meet the needs of their clients. Other factors such as fast urbanization, expanding consumer expenditure capacity, and considerable industrial sector expansion are expected to propel the market even higher during the forecast period,” reads the report. 

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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