By Nathalie Voit

United Parcel Service (UPS) reported record quarterly earnings on Feb. 1 and upwardly adjusted its 2022 revenue expectations, according to a Q4 2021 earnings press release.

The company’s strong end-of-year results were driven by solid consumer demand for e-commerce goods, special courier services like express shipping, and higher delivery rates, CNBC said. Coupled with a better-than-expected holiday shopping season, those factors bumped Q4 earnings to $27.8 billion in the three months leading to Dec. 31, an 11.5% increase from last year, UPS said.

Q4 revenue was up 12.4% in the domestic segment, with the average revenue per piece rising by 10.5%. The shipping courier also adjusted its expected revenue and operating margins for 2022, forecasting about $102 billion and a margin of 13.7% for the year ahead, respectively.

The Atlanta-based logistics giant also upgraded its quarterly dividend by 49% to $1.52 per share, its largest dividend boost to date, according to Reuters.

On Tuesday, the company’s outstanding earnings sent stocks soaring by 16% to a record high of $233.72 per share. Stocks are trading at $230.69 a share during Wednesday pre-market hours.

“2021 was an outstanding year for UPS,” said Chief Financial Officer Brian Newman on Tuesday’s earnings conference call.

The company credited its massive success to higher trading with small and medium-sized businesses through, which helped grow its average daily volumes to 18% despite higher prices. Business with e-commerce giant Amazon contributed to 11.7% of the company’s total revenue in 2021.

“We have a great relationship with Amazon, and we have mutually agreed about the volume that we should take and the volume that they should keep that works best for both companies,” said Chief Executive Officer Carol Tome, who took charge during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2020.

Under Tome’s leadership, the world’s largest parcel delivery service prioritized lucrative deliveries over volume and curried well-to-do clients like Amazon.

The firm’s success arrives amid ongoing supply-chain constraints and worker shortages. However, a change in consumer shopping preferences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in online retail sales, which has benefited business-to-consumer courier services like UPS.