UPS upgrades ground distribution network (October 07, 2003)

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ATLANTA, Ga. — United Parcel Service has upgraded its U.S. ground distribution network, and says it has reduced the time it takes for hundreds of thousands of packages to arrive at their destination every day.

The acceleration of the ground network is rooted in the development of a network that tracks every package and gives customers the ability to make packages “smart” by generating their own UPS labels.

UPS has also unveiled package flow technologies that are speeding the sorting operation inside its package centers, improving the balancing of delivery loads between routes every day, and speeding the actual loading of delivery trucks. The package flow project followed the unveiling of the fourth generation of small hand-held computers used by UPS drivers.

UPS says that the modifications, implemented over the past four months, have slashed a full day off the previous guaranteed delivery time without any change in customer rates or pick-up and delivery hours.

Some 60 lane combinations, spanning about 20 metropolitan areas, were affected, among them some of the U.S.’s largest metropolitan population centers, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

UPS made some changes, such as a four-day coast-to-coast delivery standard, in part through changes in railroad service. Modifications to UPS’s hub-and-spoke interstate trucking network were also made, as well as changes to package sorting times or locations.

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