UPS logged 154 million miles in 2014 toward its goal of driving 1 billion miles with its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet by the end of 2017 — an almost threefold increase from 2013, according to the company’s 13th annual Sustainability Report.
To put this into perspective: it took 13 years for the company to drive the first 350 million miles with its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet, but in just one year UPS was able to build dramatically on that number and is now more than halfway to its 2017 goal.
With its "Rolling Laboratory" approach, UPS increased its investment in an alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet of more than 5,000 vehicles last year, increasing the number of vehicles by 61 percent over 2013 and adding 1,100 natural gas vehicles.
UPS reported that 5.4 percent, or 25 million gallons, of its total gas and diesel purchased in 2014 was displaced with alternative fuels including natural gas, propane, ethanol, biomethane, renewable diesel and electricity. The commitment to alternative fuel and advanced technologies will allow UPS to reduce its annual use of gasoline and diesel 12 percent by the end of 2017, the report says.
The report also highlights two global trends facing the transportation and logistics industry: an increase in consumer e-commerce and growth in urbanization. E-commerce shipments typically are business-to-consumer (B2C) and fewer packages per stop, compared to business-to-business (B2B) deliveries. This means carriers may be driving more miles and using more fuel to deliver fewer goods.
Although e-commerce drove a 6.8 percent increase in package volume globally in 2014, UPS emitted fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per package, with total carbon emissions growing just 3.3 percent. The 14.1 percent reduction in carbon intensity achieved since 2007 is equal to removing more than 380,000 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.
Last year, UPS announced that it had met its 2016 goal of reducing its air and ground fleet's carbon intensity by 10 percent three years early, and set a new goal to achieve a 20 percent reduction in carbon intensity from transportation by 2020.
With consumer deliveries expected to grow to half of UPS’s U.S. business volume by 2019, the company is deploying cutting-edge strategies and technologies to address this challenge, including the ORION routing system, UPS My Choice™ service and UPS Access Point™ locations. These services give consumers control over when and where they receive deliveries, which helps UPS avoid unnecessary miles, the company says.