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Network Efficiency

We are accelerating innovative technology advancements that are enabling us—and our customers—to operate more efficiently and sustainably. - Juan Perez,
Chief Information and Engineering Officer

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Network Efficiency

Making Our Logistics Network Smarter Than Ever

Network Efficiency

Making Our Logistics Network Smarter Than Ever

When people think about our global logistics network, brown trucks and jumbo jets are top of mind. But that’s just the start of a vast portfolio of assets, expertise, and advanced technologies that combine to provide our customers with a way to move materials from one point to another more efficiently than they could by themselves. Think of it this way: UPS provides a way for customers to “carpool” their goods rather than driving them on their own. That efficiency ultimately translates into sustainable benefits and avoided emissions.

The exponential growth of e-commerce, and the resulting increases in both package volume and delivery points, continues to place more demands on our network than ever before. It’s one of the primary reasons we’ve embarked upon a transformation of our business. We are continually evolving our smart logistics network to incorporate real-time data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technological advancements to take network efficiency to its next level of performance—from the point of sale to the last mile.

We are in the midst of a multi-year capital investment program to construct and renovate facilities with higher levels of automation, acquire new highly efficient aircraft and ground fleet vehicles, and enhance information technology platforms. In 2018, we opened 22 new and retro-fitted highly automated facilities globally, adding 5 million square feet with additional sorting capacity of 400,000 packages per hour across our network. These include the addition of five U.S. regional “super hubs” that increase the speed and flexibility for how packages are transported along the way to their final destinations. In 2019, we plan to add even more capacity at 20 new and retro-fitted facilities, including two regional “super hubs.”

All the new facilities incorporate UPS’s latest in package processing and network planning technology, seamlessly integrating air and ground operations across the U.S. and around the globe.

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Optimizing Every Level of Operation


Map of world


New U.S. Super Hubs

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Salt Lake City, UT

New International Facilities

  • Dijon, France
  • Evry, France
  • Lummen, Belgium
  • Utrecht, Netherlands

Square feet
22 New or retrofitted
facilities equipped with
automation technology
25–35%More efficient than
standard facilities
Electric van
5 million square feet
Capacity added
400,000 Additional packages
processed per hour

Advanced Technology Deployments

Within these facilities and on the road, we also deployed several breakthrough technologies in 2018 that are enabling us to work in entirely new ways:

  • UPSNav is a significant update to our On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION), providing UPS drivers with a new level of accuracy and precision navigation that’s not available with conventional GPS. This is enabling our drivers to operate at top efficiency while improving our customers’ experience.
  • Network Planning Tools (NPT) combine advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and operations research to more efficiently coordinate ground, air, and rail traffic between hubs to make the best use of sortation capacity.
  • The Harmonized Enterprise Analytics Tool (HEAT) for hub operations creates more accurate forecasts about the package volume that will need to be processed within UPS facilities. HEAT generates network efficiencies and optimizes asset utilization while enabling us to provide top-notch customer service.
  • New mobile tools speed training and enhance productivity for the 100,000 seasonal personnel UPS hired in 2018. One example is the Dynamic Sort Instruction, which transforms package sorting into a simple scan, listen, and sort process.

Sustainable Building Attributes

As we build new facilities, we are focused on environmental sustainability. For example, the new Paris hub is equipped with LED lighting, as well as rainwater barrels which collect water used for washing vehicles. During construction of the Atlanta facility, an on-site concrete batch plant saved approximately 8,700 truckloads from being driven through the streets of the city, and rubble from blasting activities was recycled back into site materials. A vehicle wash system using reclaimed water will save 29 million gallons of water per year, and energy management has been integrated with conveyor systems, stopping belts if no packages are detected. The facility earned Three Green Globes certification through the Green Building Initiative for these and other sustainable features.

Building Attributes See the innovations that make the UPS hub in Paris one of our most advanced sortation facilities in the world.

Additional Transformative Vision Stories:

A Lower Carbon Footprint in the Air

UPS Airlines continues to reduce its carbon intensity through strategies focused on our aircraft fleet, aircraft weight, and aviation procedures.

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Lessons From the Road to Fleet Electrification

UPS is making big investments in delivery vehicles that offer an alternative to the gas-powered internal combustion engine.

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Powering Operations of the Future

A partnership with multiple technology and infrastructure stakeholders provides a glimpse of the future beyond the traditional internal combustion engine.

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The Latest News From the UPS Rolling Laboratory

With one of the largest private commercial fleets in the world, our rolling lab gives us access to vehicles on the leading edge of technology and partner with manufacturers.

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