(Bloomberg) -- United Parcel Service Inc., the world’s biggest package shipping company, is using data from customers, drivers and vehicles in a new route guidance system that will save time and money and reduce fuel burn.
The On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation, or Orion, system is being introduced this year to 10,000 of the Atlanta-based company’s 55,000 U.S. drivers, UPS said today. Orion has been in development nearly 10 years and is the company’s biggest technological advancement in the same timeframe, UPS said.
UPS has a history of monitoring and standardizing even the smallest issues, from drivers keeping keys hooked on a finger instead of in their pockets and making only right turns, to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The company declined to provide total savings from technology it has designed and other programs.
“We’re using big data to drive smarter and the idea is an extension of that to other things,” Chief Information Officer David Barnes said in an interview. “This is a world where we have such levels of connectivity the information in almost all cases is coming faster than the packages are being picked up.”
The latest effort gathers electronic information from UPS customers, from its fleet of 101,000 delivery vehicles and from handheld devices carried by drivers to craft optimal routes that reduce distance, time and fuel. Complicating the task are parcels with specific pickup or delivery times, and the company’s My Choice option that lets customers use a smartphone app to move or delay deliveries.
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