UPS is launching a pilot program to explore how a same-day delivery model could work for the company, which is among the biggest global shipping and logistics providers worldwide, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
“We don’t have a same-day product today, as you know, and so we’re looking at it,” Chief Executive Carol Tomé said per the WSJ, citing her response to a question on an investor-day webcast Wednesday (June 9).
“We don’t have this all the way figured out, but we’ve got a team of people looking at it,” she said per WSJ. She added that UPS is piloting the concept but didn’t elaborate.
A UPS spokesman told the WSJ that the company doesn’t comment on its pilot programs.
The escalation of eCommerce and delivery was originally fueled by the pandemic but is expected to remain a part of the new normal. Even before the pandemic, same-day and two-hour delivery platforms were taking off.
UPS rival FedEx already offers same-day delivery in limited locations and has been testing the use of robots that would make local deliveries to households, per the article.
UPS has the technology infrastructure in place but is not expected to move into the grocery or meal delivery space, Jeffrey Kauffman, a transportation and logistics analyst at Vertical Research Partners, told WSJ.
“My guess is eCommerce is going to continue to grow this market,” Kauffman said regarding same-day services. “It’s a market worth investigating.”
The delivery giant in April purchased electric planes to expand its green delivery fleet. The electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies is being used for the company’s Flight Forward subsidiary. The eVTOL aircraft charges in under one hour and has no operational emissions. They also can travel 250 miles at speeds of up to 170 miles per hour on one charge.
UPS has more than 12,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and is purchasing another 10,000 electric delivery vans from Arrival.