Friday, December 19, 2008

ups going on two wheels...

thank you rachel for the heads up...

apparently ups will begin a bicycle delivery! how cool is that?! why did it take this long?


Shipping giant United Parcel Service (UPS) will add a new weapon to its arsenal in the holiday shipping battle this year — bicycles.

Jeff Grant, the company’s workforce planning manager for the Oregon district (that includes Vancouver, WA), says UPS plans to hire 28 bike delivery employees this season. In the Portland metro area, Grant says eight riders will be hired.

I spoke with Grant via phone yesterday. He said the main impetus for the bike delivery program was to save money.

“For every three bikes we use for deliveries, we save an average of 17 gallons of fuel per day (compared to one truck). That’s about $50 in savings.” Across the entire district, Grant says for every three bikes used during the holiday season, UPS will save $38,000 in vehicle operation and upkeep costs.

UPS has purchased a fleet of mountain bikes outfitted with a 200 pound capacity trailer (with a cover for rain of course) and a set of lights. All bike delivery staff will be uniformed and helmets are required.

Before hitting the road, Grant says each rider will undergo a paid orientation and training session. The custom-tailored training will focus on operating the bicycle and trailer safely. “We realize the riders will be experienced already,” says Grant, “but have they ever pulled 200 pounds? Do they know the safe following distance in wet weather?”

According to Grant, he’ll ask delivery staff to deliver about 25-50 packages per day, compared to 150 stops a day for a normal “package car”.

Grant added an interesting historical note to this story: UPS started delivering by bike in Seattle (where they were founded) over 100 years ago. Today, the company once again uses bikes for deliveries up in Seattle and Grant said it went so well they’ve decided to expand the program.

UPS is looking to hire bike delivery people in Vancouver (WA), Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, and Medford. If you’re interested, call Maria Mason at (503) 978-7409 or email mariamason(at)ups(dot)com. really hope this program works out and it sticks. can you imagine if it goes nationwide and internationally? too cool...on another note, im about to head to work and there's at least two inches of snow that has fallen already...ha! ride safe out there and stay warm...peace.


benny said...

ups already does this in chicago... sort of.

intercept has a contract with em. i pick shit up all the time at ups, only without the benefit of that trailer in the pic.

ups runs usually suck. the packages are huge and they usually can't be dropped in a messenger center, so there's always a wait while you try to find the consignee (or whatever they call it), or get approval from ups for somebody else to sign for it.

on the plus side, some of those ups runs are craaaaaazy money... said...

Yeah...I thought I remembered intercept doing that. This is a whole other level though. It won't be on demand and cats would get hourly. Have set routes. Benefits. You get the idea...peace.

Jeff said...

I do recall the Sonic runs. Those were some fat tickets for what I found to be really easy, pleasedon'tfuckthisup runs that clearly needed to be done same day. I never did figure out how they synced up exactly.

UPS does offer a sameday service directly to its serious clientele correct? I am wondering what has been going on with UPS and what their sameday service consists of and also what it looks like to their clients. They market accounts with sameday as an option but it's hard to get anything aside from an elaborately designed website and cool animator spokesdude when looking it up for five, ten minutes tops.

I'm fascinated with FedEx's "Custom Critical" service. Two people, one truck, one package, rotated shifts, one destination. That must be absolutely mind-numbingly expensive.

I feel that that this would bring a VERY interesting series of events to the Chicago game.