While UPS saw an improvement in its quarter results over the second quarter of this year, the third quarter still saw reductions in revenue and profit over the third quarter of 2008.

The company posted revenue of $11.15 billion, compared to $13.11 billion in the year-ago period. Earnings dropped 42.7 percent to 55 cents a share, from 96 cents during the third quarter of 2008. In the second quarter, the company's profit was $445 million, or 44 cents a share.

"I'm encouraged by the signs of economic recovery that are becoming apparent, although we still have a long way to go," said Scott Davis, chairman and CEO. "Ongoing strategic investment has positioned UPS to capitalize on growth opportunities around the world. We are managing operations well, while controlling costs and maintaining excellent service."

Within the company's supply chain and freight sector, revenue was down to $1.86 billion from $2.32 billion a year ago.

"UPS Freight performance was negatively impacted by increasingly competitive conditions in the freight environment," the company said in a statement. "Nonetheless, the business outperformed the market and gained share while maintaining yields."

"The business environment in the third quarter began similarly to that of the preceding quarter," said Kurt Kuehn, UPS's chief financial officer. "However, we did see profitability improvement due to effective cost management and firming volume later in the quarter."

"UPS is poised for the recovery when it comes. We've instituted cost initiatives that will approach $1.4 billion this year, making UPS more efficient than ever," he said.