• Dec 22nd 2006 at 7:55AM
  • 8
Package delivery companies like UPS have taken in hit in the last couple of years as a result of rising fuel costs. Now the brown trucks of UPS are going to be getting their routes optimized to help save money. UPS delivers over 14.5 million packages a day and the trucks tend to have routes that are rarely the same. The company will be using package flow technologies to optimize the loading of packages so drivers can get them out in order, more quickly, reducing the idle time. They will also set up the daily routes, to favor right hand turns where possible, again to reduce running time. The less time trucks spend sitting in left turn lanes, the less fuel they burn. UPS is projecting savings of $600 million a year from the changes. You can listen to an interview with UPS CIO Dave Barnes at ZDNET at the Read link.

[Source: ZDNet via Digg]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Right turn idea sounds like a winner to me. BUT, also and equally important (if not more important) is the mention of jackrabbit starts. A lot of fuel is wasted that way, not to mention unnecessary wear and tear on the tires and engine.

      And, believe it or not, for the trucks doing a lot of hill driving, keeping the tank half full is a help.

      Good company and a good idea. Keep up the good work.

      Jack Schrader
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hi Guys,
        Is this idea is still working. My only concern is that avoiding left by using 3 right turns will not increase travel distance.
      • 8 Years Ago
      When UPS installs (bio)diesel hybrids in their trucks, you will know for sure the tipping point has been reached for that technology. Small diesel engines, new tech LiON, and regenerative braking would probably put another $600 million on the bottom line. I just wish I was in a position to sell it to them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What a clever idea! I never would have thought of the "right hand turn" rule as a fuel and time saver.

      Kudos to UPS for thinking "out-of-the-box"!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Then maybe they should pull their sponsorship out of Nascar and go to Champcar.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Howard- I'll take a piece of that action!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pre-planning your trip properly is as important as eliminating jack rabbit starts and unnecessary trips. UPS follows the money (and time) savings. Necessity is the mother of invention. A lesson for us all.
      • 7 Years Ago
      While any decrease in resource usage, even primarily cost driven ones, by companies and individuals are laudable, did UPS really think this one thorough? I have not listened to the video, nor read anything other than this blog entry, but a few questions come to mind: As alluded to by others - are right-hand turns routs as short distance as is possible with lefts? Did the savings study allow for any extra time from longer distances in Driver costs? How do you calculate whether you will actually have to wait for a traffic light (stop signs incur the same penalties, straight, right or left) or "get the green" and just sail right on through?

      A MUCH better solution would be instead of a publicity gimmick, UPS should either find, or sponsor the engineering of, an efficient engine re-starter (one that could easily, reliably and repeatably re-start engines - maybe even a weight saving combo Alternator/Starter) with integration into the clutch/brake pedal sensors (clutch down and brake down = re-start, obliviously key-on and engine NOT running) for safe auto-stops and restarts. This would save fuel on thier vehicles, whether being driven on an un-optimized route, stopped at a light, in traffic, at a stop sign, on the freeway, being spotted in a UPS yard, or whatever. Now THAT could save some money!
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