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UPS Streamlining Business Pickup Schedule to Trim Fuel, Emissions

UPS stickerUPS expects to save up to 793,000 gallons of fuel a year by using technology to streamline its pickup schedule for small- and medium-sized business shipping customers.

Dubbed the UPS Smart Pickup system, the program relies on technology to enable customers to let UPS know when a pickup is needed, instead of the truck stopping by every day, as has been the case.

UPS estimates that the practice will shave 8 million miles from its fleet annually, eliminating about 7,800 metric tons of emissions.

When customers want a pickup, they will schedule a pickup through any of a variety of UPS digital portals, including UPS WorldShip 2010, UPS CampusShip and UPS Internet Shipping.

Then, UPS drivers will be notified via their wireless, handheld computers that a pickup is needed.

UPS is charging companies $10 weekly to participate in the service.

For frequent customers of UPS who ship a high volume, the service is not likely to result in any cost savings.

The service compares to regular fees of $20 for companies with a weekly billing of less than $75 and $10 for companies billing more than $75 a week.

Other environmental efforts by UPS include offering eco-minded customers the option of paying a price to offset the emissions associated with shipment of their packages.

The UPS Carbon Neutral program costs a nickel per package for regular ground services and 20 cents per package for Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air and 3 Day Select services, according to a press release.

In addition to the cost of the offsets, the price includes the cost of calculation and administrative costs associated with the service.

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