UPS Rolls Out Package Flow Technologies

Using the new suite — when combined with wireless computers for its drivers and wireless scanners worn by package sorters — will help the company improve customer service and operational efficiency. The foundation for the new system is a smart label that will be affixed to packages moving through the UPS network. More than 90% of UPS’ customers already generate these labels at their premises. Information from the label is transmitted to UPS before a driver picks up the package. As a result, address information on a package can be pre-processed and corrected if necessary before the physical arrival of the package at the sorting center.

Customers will be able to request a change in the destination of a package while the package is in transit. Initial testing and deployment of the system suggests UPS can reduce the mileage driven by its delivery trucks by more than 100 million miles a year, which will save the company 14 million gallons of fuel while reducing CO2 emissions by 130,000 metric tons annually.

Using up-to-the-minute information, the UPS center will be able to produce a dispatch plan for every driver prior to any packages being handled by center employees. As a result, the driver’s deliveries are known before the start of the loading process, so last-minute changes to a driver’s load are minimized.

The software features advanced geographic tools that will allow package center planners to analyze and adjust dispatch plans to further optimize delivery.

UPS expects to have the technologies fully deployed throughout the U.S. by 2005. www.ups.com

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