How far outside of the box is UPS or FedEx willing to think to initiate eco friendly shipping methodologies? The easiest way to frame that question is to ask yourself, does it make sense to never make a left turn again? If you think the answer to that question would be easy, and absurd to even ask, you are not thinking as far outside of the box as UPS did.
In 2009, UPS eliminated nearly all left turns for their ground fleet and saved a shocking three million gallons of gas in the process. FedEx later employed a similar system for savings initiatives and the two companies received significant press for their efforts to lighten their eco footprint.
In addition to utilizing the fluid motion of right turns over that of left turns, both UPS and FedEx have developed leading technologies to track and route their parcels. UPS alone, in 2009, shaved twenty-eight and a half million miles off their 2008 routes. The resulting savings in fuel and CO2 emissions is hard to fathom, but the savings do not stop with simple efficiency technology.
FedEx and UPS both run cleaner fuels in many of their ground fleet vehicles. Some say these “cleaner fuel” options are nothing but a gimmick that does not save the ecosystem any burden, but by looking at the facts, it is easy to see that cleaner fuel does have an impact. In addition, as the leaders in shipping set an example for entrepreneurial companies, others are more likely to follow in their footprints—or the lack thereof.
One clean fuel alternative was developed and used by 1982. UPS’s propane trucks, totaling 451, achieve higher gas mileage than standard oil based fuel and release roughly half the CO2. UPS continues to maintain these vehicles today and the fleet has thus far saved untold CO2 emissions that are harmful to the environment.
In 1989, UPS developed compressed natural gas engines and launched a fleet of over one thousand trucks with the fuel saving technology. Natural gas burns five times more efficiently than fossil fuel oil with comparable mileage and power to supply the deliveries.
In 1998, UPS launched the hybrid electric vehicle. With a fleet that will soon top five hundred, big city traffic is the perfect place for these engines. Not only does the hybrid UPS truck save fuel, but also in busy traffic, at standstills, the vehicle puts out 0% emissions.
UPS also utilizes a small fleet of liquid natural gas trucks, 11 total, and almost fifty electric vehicles. Both liquid natural gas and pure electric are young technologies, but UPS continues to strive for the finest technologies to provide eco friendly shipping options and continue to serve its clients and customers with top tier production.
FedEx, though later in the game, has not been without its eco friendly shipping innovations. In 2006, FedEx partnered with companies in France to develop a fleet of hybrid electric diesel ground shipment vehicles. Since 2006, when FedEx began its savings initiatives, they have saved over 9 million liters of gas. Their innovations continue to grow, and FedEx aims to be a leader in eco technology.
Many who ship with both FedEx and UPS are first concerned with having their packages and parcels delivered on time, in perfect condition. Sadly, few are as concerned with the methods of transportation, and it is only recently becoming more mainstream to evaluate the impact of fossil fuels on the environment. Gladly, the two shipping giants in the industry, two of the largest consumers of harmful CO2 producing fuels, have been thinking about how to lighten the negative impacts of fossil fuel burning for decades already.
As shippers move forward, they must consider the long-term impact of their businesses. Online shipping and freight moving is becoming a central part of many economies, and as it does, so do UPS and FedEx become a larger part of every person’s daily life. The community wants to know that it is responsible for partnering with companies that care about the world they occupy. It is not enough to research and hypothesize about ecofriendly technology, but rather, it is the best practice to partner with companies like UPS and FedEx that are already doing what it takes to make changes to harmful environmental damages.