They didn't come back to Paynesville when they finished their routes. Every driver parked his or her truck in Willmar on Monday night.
After nearly 30 years of shipping packages from the Paynesville area, the UPS center closed to the public last Wednesday night. Its last full day of shipping was Monday, Dec. 2.
The center was an "extended area" center, according to driver Joe Hanson. Hanson has worked at this UPS center for 20 years. When he started out, he washed cars and helped out around Christmas.
"Overall, the benefits are good · the days go by quickly," Hanson said, talking about why he's stayed with UPS for so many years.
He's not leaving the company because the Paynesville center is closed. He's transferring to Willmar, as are the majority of his 46 co-workers. All of UPS's Paynesville employees can be employed in Willmar, if they choose, Hanson said.
"I haven't heard of anyone who isn't (transferring)," Hanson said.
UPS has "been talking" about closing the Paynesville center for about 10 years, Hanson said. The volume is more than the facility can handle.
On Monday morning, all of the back doors were open. Many trucks were loaded outside, and employees were carrying boxes outside. Everything should be loaded inside, Hanson said. The working conditions at the Paynesville UPS were "cramped" Hanson said, but the facility did its job and employees were able to make it work.
UPS decided that Willmar is a better central location than Paynesville. Instead of expanding in Paynesville, other extended area centers, like Granite Falls, may be expanded.
The Paynesville facility stayed open for so long because many workers liked the Paynesville area. These people did "anything to stay here for as long as possible," Hanson said.
Better working conditions in Willmar's UPS facility are a positive factor of the move, Hanson said. The Willmar facility is larger than Paynesville's, which makes for safer conditions.
UPS trucks will still come through Paynesville, and packages can still be dropped off, although the location has changed. Both the Coast-to-Coast store and Zapf's Leather and Western Wear are UPS drop-off points. UPS trucks will pick up packages from these locations.
David Voss, Paynesville, bought the UPS facility. He will rent the facility to UPS, who will leave three drivers with small trailers in the facility. After UPS is finished with the facility, Voss plans to store his own equipment and rent extra space to truckers.
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