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UPS Tries New Route Optimization Technology for Fuel Conservation

UPS is turning to new route optimization technology in an attempt to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

The company announced it has completed installation of the new “package flow technology” for use in the Sacramento, California area.

Each year, UPS drivers log more than 4.5 million miles on Sacramento-area roads. Based on initial results, package flow technology will reduce the number of miles driven each year in Sacramento by as much as 265,000 miles—some 6%—saving more than 30,000 gallons of fuel and emitting 288 fewer metric tons of CO2.

Package flow technology scans UPS “smart labels” on nearly all of the 14 million packages moving through the company’s global network each day. Consequently, delivery route planners know the night before what packages will need to be delivered to Sacramento residents and businesses the next day. By pushing this data into a software program that plans driver routes, UPS can map out routes that require the fewest number of miles to complete.

The technology also helps decrease the number of missed deliveries, thereby reducing the need to drive back to an address a second time to deliver a package. This results in less fuel used and fewer CO2 emissions. UPS is implementing package flow technology at more than 1,000 package centers throughout the United States. Deployment is scheduled to be completed in 2007.

UPS’ Sacramento fleet includes 112 of the company’s compressed natural gas (CNG) alternative fuel delivery vehicles. UPS operates one of the largest alternative fuel fleets in North America with more than 1,700 such vehicles including fuel cell, hybrid electric, electric, propane-powered, liquefied natural gas and CNG.


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