Turn Right to Save Money!!



Improving the efficiencies within a corporation are usually the biggest tasks for upper management to tackle, and especially for a global company like UPS (with operations in over 220 countries and over 395,000 employees (UPS)): How do they stay efficient and be competitive? and Where should they put their focus?

Over the past few years UPS has been testing and implementing a new system to save time, money, and gas consumption within their operations. How did UPS, one of the largest shipment and logistics companies in the world, come up with one of the easiest solutions to being more efficient in these areas? Well they did it by just turning right!! When I first read about this, I really didn’t believe it and was in wonderment – is it really this easy? UPS did numerous studies on the effects of left turns and the data showed lost time at backed up left turn lanes, a waste of gas, and a disproportionate number of accidents. (Priceonomics)

When I did some research and looked at the numbers that UPS came up with, I was really blown away. According to Bloomberg during their testing phase during 2010 – 2012 UPS saved, “more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 14,000 metric tons, eliminated 206 million minutes of idling time and saved more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel.” This simple idea didn’t come about over night though. It took UPS almost a decade to design and implement an onboard program – Orion, On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation, that will utilize incoming pickups and reroute trucks to be the most efficient. This was first introduced in 2012 to about a quarter of their fleet and will eventually be on all their trucks by 2017.  According to UPS, the reduction of 1 mile per day for every driver will save the company as much as $50 million a year in fuel, vehicle maintenance and time. (Forbes)

With social responsibility being a prevalent topic in society and used in marketing and PR, UPS has found a way to use this to their benefit in more than one way.  The benefits are clear-cut: not only does this benefit the company’s bottom line but also benefits social causes that are aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and car emissions.

What other ways do you see this benefiting society?







6 thoughts on “Turn Right to Save Money!!

  1. This relates to me because I have a side job as a food delivery driver. While reading this article I understood why they were faster in making their deliveries because it makes me do my deliveries faster as well. One of the obvious reasons is that you do not have to wait for a red light to change to green, you can just go if there are no cars. What i didn’t know is how much gas you could be saving, very interesting! Besides benefiting society by reducing some of the negative externalities that come with driving cars it can possibly help society be more efficient. Maybe this would compel other logistic companies to do the same.

  2. Wow this an amazing article, I can not believe that something so impactful came from such a simple idea. I was familiar with UPS doing this but I thought it was only to prevent the accident risk of left turns. It is really nice to see how much they have benefited everyone with this discovery. I think right turns will become something that the other logistics companies will start doing, which will end up saving tons of fuel.

  3. I actually heard of UPS’s strategy before. I thought it was funny and also took more note in whether they actually only turned right, and it is true. This would benefit society also by less hospital bills for accidents, not to mention less lawsuits due to erratic driving on UPS’s part.

  4. Route optimization is a fantastic way to cut costs for a major corporation with millions invested in its fleet. The benefit to society in this instance would be not necessarily from ups buy lets say if walmart got on board with route optimization and fleet emissions (which I’m certain they are looking at) this would cause a cascade effect through the commerce world because of competition and emissions would go down by substantial amounts. if one company has an economic advantage by going ‘green’ you better believe all of the others will follow.

  5. I see that you are talking about UPS and how they have managed to reduce their environmental impact and save money through making right turns. This is a very interesting post and one that I am somewhat familiar with. Being a past employee of UPS, I used to deal with the driver handheld computers (DIAD’s) every once in a while. It really was interesting to see how precise the system was – how it specified what drop off or pick up location was next. At times it would be frustrating to the drivers that I worked with because even though a location may be physically closer to them at a particular point, it still may be more time efficient to come back to it later. They have created a system that saves money and is healthier for the planet and as others have commented, hopefully other companies will follow.

  6. It’s very interesting how something so simple as just making right turns can save a company millions of dollars. This is very beneficial towards society because it will cause their competitors as well as other companies in different industries to look for ways to save money while helping societal issues. It made me think about how the CTA could implement this strategy. It would save them money and it would be eco-friendly. They could also potentially look to add more routes it the savings were worthwhile. Something like this could really revolutionize the CTA system and make Chicago’s public transportation better than it is now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *