Package delivery company UPS announced a "green" pickup option for small to medium-size businesses, automating the process of having drivers stop at customer locations to pick up packages. Smart Pickup is the latest in a series of UPS' Decision Green efforts and is designed for customers that want the convenience of a scheduled pickup but that may not ship a package every day. The service uses UPS technology to ensure that a UPS driver stops at a customer location to pick up a package only when a package is being shipped.
The company said service is expected to eliminate 8 million miles from the total driven by UPS each year in the United States and will save an estimated 793,000 gallons of fuel and 7,800 metric tons of CO2 emissions. The weekly flat fee for UPS Smart Pickup is $10.
In addition, UPS still provides a UPS On-Call Pickup service for those customers that don't need a scheduled pickup. UPS said On-Call Pickup is ideal for customers that ship infrequently, traveling business users or customers arranging for UPS Returns services.
"Before UPS Smart Pickup, UPS would often arrive at a customer's location only to discover that the customer had no packages for pickup that day," said Chief Information Officer David Barnes. "For the first time, a UPS service integrates the company's operational and customer-facing technology to eliminate unnecessary stops. UPS Smart Pickup is particularly compelling for customers who are interested in cost-effective ways to make environmentally responsible choices, while at the same time helping UPS reduce miles and lessen our carbon footprint."
UPS is pitching the service as convenient, automated and transparent for businesses. A customer uses a UPS shipping system, such as UPS WorldShip 2010, UPS CampusShip or UPS Internet Shipping, to process a package prior to a predetermined cutoff time. That shipping system then communicates with internal operations systems at UPS to notify drivers via their wireless, handheld computers that a pickup is required. The result is that a pickup is only scheduled when a customer processes a package in a UPS shipping system.
UPS Smart Pickup is one of three Enhanced Pickup Options that leverage UPS technology to offer more flexible, personalized customer service. Day-Specific Pickup is for customers that need a scheduled pickup only on specific days of the week, and Daily On-Route Pickup enables a customer's packages to be picked up at the same time a UPS driver delivers packages to that customer. Regardless of which scheduled Pickup Option customers choose, they don't need to make any phone calls or requests online; scheduled pickups occur automatically. The same driver will stop as scheduled whether a ground, air or international shipment needs to be picked up.