"We... always have to be diligent about getting the right return," particularly as costs rise, Richard Peretz, the company's chief financial officer, said at an investor event.
His comments came last week after the company tested home delivery by drone in Lithia, Florida, the first step in what it hopes will be more automated — and cheaper — deliveries in rural areas.
UPS is grappling with lower margins for e-commerce, which have dented earnings. Businesses typically get more packages per stop than residences, making delivery to individual homes more expensive. Drones could be one way to reduce those costs.
In last week's test, a drone launched from the roof of a UPS vehicle flew autonomously toward its destination, dropped a package and then returned to the vehicle as the driver continued on a delivery route.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.