Can UPS Improve the MPG of Its Ground Fleet by 20%?

UPS truck and driver photo

Photo: Flickr, CC

UPS has just set itself a new fuel-efficiency goal for all of its "package delivery fleet", aiming for a 20% increase in MPG between the years 2000 and 2020. They are already well underway, with a 10% increase in mileage for their fleet of 60,000 ground vehicles between 2000 and 2009. The number might seem a bit abstract, but in practice it means that despite the fact that UPS drivers logged 77.3 million more miles than in 2009 than in 2000, they burned 3.2 million fewer gallons of fuel. Read on to find out some of the strategies that UPS is using to save gas.

UPS graph mpg

Image: UPS.
Fuel efficiency levels were improved through improved vehicle technology, effective vehicle maintenance procedures, fuel conservation efforts, sophisticated routing technology and operational initiatives such as minimizing engine idling. Alternative fuel technology and vehicle deployments also improve UPS's fuel efficiency. (source)

Most people have heard about how UPS trucks are being routed so that they make as few left turn as possible at intersections to save time and gas. This routing system is constantly being improved further to squeeze more out of every gallon. UPS has also been trying compressed natural gas (CNG) and hybrid trucks (in their tests, UPS has found that these trucks provide about 30% in fuel savings).

UPS brown truck photo 2837423

Photo: Wikipedia, public domain.
UPS Airline Too
This goal for the ground fleet will also be complementing a previous UPS goal of improving the CO2-efficiency of its airline by 20% by 2020, which would bring the total carbon-emission reduction to 42% per unit shipped since 1990. The airline represents 53% of UPS's global carbon footprint.

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