• Dec 13, 2007

What can Brown do for you? Not make left turns, for a start.

UPS uses proprietary software it calls "package flow" to increase efficiency in its logistical operations, including mapping out routes for each of its 95,000 delivery trucks. According to UPS, the software has already cut out some 28.5 million miles, 3 million gallons of fuel and 31,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide by optimizing the most efficient routes for delivery. The next step is to minimize the number of left-hand turns its trucks have to make.

Hanging a left entails more waiting at traffic lights and for circulation to clear at intersections than taking right turns, so UPS is reprogramming Package Flow to favor right turns instead. Naturally, it won't send its trucks around in circles if a left turn is in order, but seeing a big brown truck turn left could become a rarer sight from now on.

[Source: The New York Times Magazine via Winding Road]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Routesmart!
      • 7 Years Ago
      UPS loves NASCAR. "We're gonna race the truck. People love the truck." They're just saving up the left turns for Sundays.
      I plan my route into work the same way, because left turns onto main roads are the biggest congestion points after schools in my area.
      • 6 Years Ago
      maby somebody interesting to a lot of free books site http://booksfree4you.googlepages.com/
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is nothing new.
      UPS has been doing this for nearly a decade.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have friends who have worked for UPS for years...I kind of thought that this was common knowledge. UPS has been doing this for a very long time in our area.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Much like the state of NJ UPS does not like NASCAR. trying to get rid of all left turns.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Fact.75 percent of turns are right hand turns.Think about it(but not too long).
      • 7 Years Ago
      Only this morning UPS still quoted me £42 ($84) to take a small box weighing 7Kg just 14 miles down the road on their 'Express' service, and £41 ($82) on 'Express Saver'.

      So they still have a few more savings to make until they're cheaper than any of the other European next-day companies such as DHL, CityLink or BusinessPost. Maybe they're still working to US gas prices? :)

      The real shame for me and other UK customers is that Uncle Sam's brown vans offer a far better service overall than any local competitor...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Uncle Sam doesn't own the big brown vans. At the rate of efficiency Uncle Sam works, you'd be paying 2x as much for half the distance. Just pray they're never doing business for you.

        UPS is a publicly traded corporation.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Must be a slow news day to be rehashing stories they have already published.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My mother has been doing this no left turns during her errands for decades. She plans her entire trip when doing errands based upon no left turns. Nice to see UPS thinks it is a good idea. She also drives her auto the furthest and then works her way back. That way her car has warmed up and minimizes emissions with each restart.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Pretty standard business school operations management issue for UPS.

      Cool software though. Maybe the tech will trickle down to my Tom Tom. I hate left turns too. Especially in unfamiliar places.

      What can Brown do for us?
      • 7 Years Ago
      How will it handle "Michigan Lefts?"

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Left
        • 7 Years Ago
        LOL!!!! ah, Michigan..don't miss that state one bit!
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