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UPS uses automation to handle repetitive tasks

UPS uses automation to handle repetitive tasks
UPS uses automation to handle repetitive tasks

Logistics providers worldwide are looking to automation to enhance operation efficiencies. UPS is now using automated technology to improve its package flow.

CEO Carol Tomé says innovation has been part of the company’s makeup since its inception.  “We continuously look for ways to leverage technology to improve our employee experience and increase efficiency. This is how we build a better and bolder UPS that will continue to be customer-first, people-led and innovation-driven for years to come,” she says. 

Better package care for customers 

The company has initiated several technological improvements targeting certain processes in its operations that are physically demanding on employees. These processes will also ensure faster throughput. 

Pick-up-and-place technology is being used to help staff sort small packages. Unloading technologies now help UPS employees unload easily and give customers better package care.   

In 2023, 57% of UPS’ packages processed through the company’s network went through automated facilities. The businesses’ airfreight facilities are also equipped with automated package flow technology. 

UPS innovation for customers 

In April 2020, the company announced a warehouse execution system to help with faster order intake and ensure customers get their orders on time. In the same year, UPS announced a facility automation initiative to the tune of $1.4 billion. The goal behind this was simple: to make customer’s lives easier. 

Logistic provider rivals automate 

Imagine running a logistics company that sends millions of packages to valued customers each year. Let’s face it, people are only human and can only handle a certain workload before they get tired. Logistics providers around the world are jumping on to the automation idea to help parcels move faster and meet demanding customer’s need for fast parcel delivery. 

While UPS has jumped on the automation train, so has its rival FedEx.  The company recently announced the testing of artificial intelligence-powered (AI) robots to load ground trailers. This will help keep service levels high for its customers. 

There is another side to jumping on the AI train, it could help logistics providers fill possible labor shortages. Automation can help companies stay on top of demand in the market.  Automation doesn’t just reduce labor shortage, but to save money logistics providers will cut labor costs too.  

Automated parcel terminal assists last-mile delivery

An automated parcel delivery terminal is a standalone unit that is installed in places like shopping malls or grocery stores. The terminal allows a receiver to collect or return their parcel conveniently in their own time. Companies like UPS use automated delivery terminals. Future Market Insights says parcel delivery terminals with automatic delivery are becoming the preferred option as this option reduces costs in the logistics process. “Moreover, they also support manufacturers and retailers in avoiding losses incurred as a result of poor last mile delivery performance or failed attempts,” reads the report. 

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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