Local News

UPS saving money, fuel just by turning right

Posted July 28, 2008 6:49 p.m. EDT
Updated July 28, 2008 11:10 p.m. EDT

— With fuel prices near record levels, everyone is looking to save money at the gasoline pump – and UPS is saving millions of dollars changing how its drivers drive.

A recent government study says delivery-size trucks use about 7 percent of their fuel while idling.

Last year, the delivery company saved 3 million gallons of gas nationwide and shaved 30 million miles off its delivery routes by reconfiguring its routes to turn right as often as possible.

Clayton Dorn, a regional manager for UPS in Raleigh, said Monday that cutting out left turns means less waiting at lights, more miles per gallon and safer deliveries because trucks are not crossing traffic lanes in intersections.

"It's proven," Dorn said. "And it works for us every day."

UPS delivery supervisors use a combination of personal and historical experience coupled with specialized computer programs to map out daily delivery routes. It's called package-flow technology, and it helps optimize planning and driver routine to reduce overall miles

And even though you might not be driving around in one of the company's signature brown trucks, with a little planning, you too, could save significant time and money.

"Planning is key," said Mike Taylor, a Raleigh UPS distribution supervisor who maps out the routes and tracks packages – sometimes days before packages arrive at the center. "Your left-hand turn increases idle time, increases emissions, fuel consumption."

Drivers, like Randy Jackson, say they have noticed a positive change in efficiency.

"You can do it quicker," he said. "It's (safer)."