UPS upgrades route-optimization software with ‘UPSNav’

UPS is investing in its IT efforts with the expansion of its internal tool, “UPSNav,” following a testing phase implemented earlier this fall with 5,000 of its delivery drivers.

The company said the software optimizes delivery times better than its previous version of its system, called ORION; with the upgrade, drivers will be given more specific directions throughout the delivery process, e.g. loading docks and receiving areas, cutting down delivery times.

“UPSNav is not a conventional navigation platform like those that guide most drivers in their personal vehicles from the front door of Address A to the front door Address B,” said Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer. “UPS drivers make an average of 125 stops each day. They often drive to obscure customer locations that aren’t visible from the main road.” UPSNav will serve to correct these hindrances.

The upgrade is part of its “Network Planning Tools” initiative, which use data analytics to “help the company direct package volume more efficiently across its network,” as well as optimize its storage and sorting facilities’ operations. The company said the system will yield annual savings of US$100 million to $200 million once fully deployed.

The software’s next iteration, scheduled in 2019, will adjust and re-calculate routes throughout the day, taking factors like changing traffic conditions and the remaining deliveries and pick-up requests into account.

UPS estimates that, by 2020, the technology will save the integrator up to $75 million each year, as a result of the route optimization and resultant time and fuel savings.

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