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The Road to the Perfect Route: How UPS Drivers Optimize their Route

Since its foundation in 1907, UPS has been restlessly working on optimizing the most efficient routes for their deliveries and therefore satisfy the growing expectations from their customers. From the early days, before GPS or Google Maps made everything easier, quality delivery routing was based mainly on fuel usage, time efficiency, and the productivity of the drivers. Times have changed and with the improvement of technology, UPS can now provide their drivers various tools to simplify their jobs, such as tracking devices, vehicle sensors, and route optimization apps. 

The foundation of this complicated analysis system includes tracking what type of deliveries require the most time and which locations are the hardest to reach. Another factor of this system is examining the habits of individual drivers to uncover their most efficient routines. What’s more, drivers are trained how to complete their deliveries most quickly and safely, while avoiding environmental damage by burning the least fuel. Plus, UPS provides customers different online tools that let them track their packages, personalize exact drop-off times, and quickly and efficiently resolve delivery issues.

With these methods, UPS has provided their customers predictable delivery times for more than a decade. This thorough and persistent approach certainly achieved its goal. As of 2021, UPS delivers to more than 220 countries around the globe with nearly half-million employees working on fulfilling the customers’ demands on time.

Drive in the Driver’s Shoes

As delivering is a very direct job, managers must know exactly what it’s like to go through the delivery process and what obstacles could arise. To create a common link between the managers and the drivers, both go through the same training called Intergrad. This program is a comprehensive preparation for delivery work, teaching everything from how to carry heavy packages to how to drive trucks safely with one hand only. This common training ensures that managers know exactly what it’s like to be behind the wheel. They are not joking with training, they even mimic slippery surfaces with the slip and fall simulator. 

UPS puts great emphasis on the flow of communication within the company. UPS employees reflect this mission by sitting together and sharing social and work experiences openly and honestly. Having open communication led to healthy conversations such as how to reduce fuel waste and how to show mutual appreciation to other’s roles within the company. It is not only about improving the delivery service to UPS but about the importance of being willing to develop together.

Track to Optimize

If you have ever received a package through UPS, you must have noticed the black portable device drivers carry around everywhere. This gadget is called Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD) and it was the first portable tracking device of its time back in 1991. 

It is not an easy task to ensure thousands of deliveries will arrive on time, but DIAD made it possible to track every step along the way electronically. UPS could track each point of data from wrapping to completion of delivery. This is a very important keystone because examining the delivery time made it possible to better plan routes. Once the driver steps out of the truck with the parcel, the DIAD records how long it takes to handle the package, get the signature if needed, and move on to the next consignment.

Leave the Left Turn Out

It might sound a bit weird at first, but avoiding left turns in traffic is a huge strategic step from UPS. But why?

While turning right can be possible at a red light, turning left usually stops you. Everyone who is experienced in traffic knows how much faster it can be taking three right turns without obstacles rather than waiting for a left turn at a long red light. Waiting for cross traffic to pass is the biggest time waste in this case.

This is where optimization makes sense! Instead of wasting time maneuvering around the city, UPS optimizes routes for right-hand curves. Thanks to this, UPS was able to reduce its carbon emission by 100,000 metric tons and save 100 million gallons of gas over the last 17 years!

Researchers found out that taking avoidable left turns can be directly linked to burning large amounts of fuel and participating in the destruction of the environment. By using route optimization software, you can be environmentally conscious and more on time for deliveries.

Taking UPS Route Planning to the Next Level

So how can UPS plan these complex routes? Well, they simply don’t have to! 

Straightaway is a routing optimization service that grants drivers to optimize the quickest routes, navigate destinations with turn-by-turn direction and still leave some extra time after finishing their deliveries. By simply downloading your stops to the app, Straightaway will help you plan the most optimal route right away. 

Straightaway’s advanced algorithm assesses the road conditions, weather reports, traffic patterns, and numerous other data sources to provide the best routes every day. This is so you can stop worrying about extra stops and roadblocks! Straightaway provides an easy and effortless experience to all its UPS users, as it takes the speculation out of route optimization.

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