UPS Reveals Package-Flow Enhancements

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United Parcel Service released the details yesterday of planned technology improvements it expects to enhance package flow and increase internal efficiency, providing reduced mileage for delivery trucks and enabling flexibility for complex delivery instructions.

The basis of the new technology is a smart label, which will be generated by 90 percent of UPS customers at their premises, that lets customers transmit delivery address information to UPS before the package is picked up for delivery. Having that information in advance will improve efficiency by helping plan delivery routes and vehicle loading and unloading, UPS said.

UPS centers will know driver deliveries before package loading and will develop dispatch plans before loading begins, UPS said. Drivers, who are equipped with wireless computers and scanners, will know exactly where each package is located in the vehicle, reducing vehicle mileage and the time to select packages.

Deployment of the upgrades will be complete in 2005, UPS said. Early testing and deployment indicate that the technology will reduce mileage driven by UPS trucks 100 million miles a year, saving UPS 14 million gallons of fuel and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 130,000 metric tons annually, according to UPS.

In addition, the technology will allow for customized delivery service and in-transit changes to delivery instructions, UPS said. Less training for UPS employees will be needed because they no longer will have to learn addresses and ZIP codes for each area, UPS said.

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