Engineering Materials
Plastics Deliver Massive Weight Savings for UPS

United Parcel Service is planning to shift to composites and other plastics for many of the structural components in its brown delivery trucks, as shown in this prototype.   (Source: UPS)
United Parcel Service is planning to shift to composites and other plastics for many of the structural components in its brown delivery trucks, as shown in this prototype.
(Source: UPS)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Smart strategy for cost efficiencies
Ann R. Thryft   7/20/2012 12:12:41 PM
I don't think UPS has to make a decision between reducing operating costs or delivering more packages. The company says this particular truck is best suited to urban use, where its narrower size makes it easier to get around--and therefore speeding deliveries. As the article states, the 900 lbs difference is in the truck's weight, not the weight of its contents, and the contents difference is measured in cubic feet: it's about 70 cubic feet smaller.

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Re: Smart strategy for cost efficiencies
williamlweaver   7/20/2012 10:11:42 AM
So now on to the difficult decision: Reduce operating costs or deliver 900 lbs more packages without raising the current cost. Ether way, it is a huge win. Hooray for enterprise for innovating new cost savings in transportation. All we got from government was a PSA about correct tire inflation.

Beth Stackpole
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Smart strategy for cost efficiencies
Beth Stackpole   7/20/2012 8:34:12 AM
It appears that UPS is in good company with their decision to explore the use of composite materials. I've read about several other pilot projects in the mass transit and delivery sector where they are out in front leveraging both new materials and alternative energy vehicles to try to cut operating costs. Given that the trucks are the fuel constitute huge operating costs, the strategy makes a whole lot of sense.

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