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Saving Fuel: UPS Saves Fuel and Reduces Emissions the "Right" Way by Avoiding Left Turns


For more than a century, UPS has made efficient routing a top priority. Careful route planning is fundamental to the way UPS does business and essential for safe and timely deliveries.

UPS achieves efficiencies through careful study of the methods used to deliver packages. UPS learned through time studies that avoiding left-hand turns saves time, conserves fuel, lowers emissions and increases safety. UPS managers used to plan routes by hand on maps while driving to destinations. They then experimented with the routes, eliminating left-hand turns to see if it led to increased efficiency. It worked. For the past several decades, UPS has designed routes in a series of loops with as few left-hand turns as possible.

In the past few years, UPS rolled out technology that automates the process for minimizing left-hand turns. Today, UPS managers combine personal and historical experience with computer programs to design delivery routes.

Since the deployment of this route planning technology in 2004, UPS has eliminated millions of miles off delivery routes, taking already-expedient routes and giving them razor edge efficiency.

As a result, UPS:

  • Saved 10 million gallons of gas
  • Reduced CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons, equivalent to 5,300 passenger cars off the road for an entire year.

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