Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

UPS Does It By Bike (In Oregon And Hawaii, Anyway)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 28, 2009

UPS Delivery By Bike! Salem, Oregon from nwduffer on Vimeo.

UPS trucks typically deliver between one hundred and one hundred fifty packages per day. When the United Parcel Service started its holiday-season bike-delivery program in New Hampshire, Maine, California, Washington, Oregon, and Tennessee a few months ago (after a pilot run in New Hampshire and Maine in 2007), they expected that each rider would deliver between twenty-five and fifty packages. However, at least one rider in the Salem, Oregon area, Tina Brubaker, got nearly sixty packages delivered on her first day and can do nearly a hundred on a good day. A UPS truck drops off packages at her garage, which serves as a mini-hub where she goes to pick up more packages (and to change into dry clothes if it’s been raining, as it tends to do in Portland in the winter). Seems to be a pretty efficient system!

UPS also tried it in Hawaii, using bikes to deliver packages to three military bases on Oahu. UPS delivery person Tyrone Bellamy finds he can make seventy-five stops a day, which approaches the number of stops a truck can make at a fraction of the cost. (He’s also lost several pants sizes in the bargain, becoming quite trim and fit.)

I suspect that deliveries by bike would work well in high-density downtown areas, where truck parking is often problematic. My main concern is that the bike trailer should have a topper that can be locked down so as to make its contents less tempting to thieves.

4 Responses to “UPS Does It By Bike (In Oregon And Hawaii, Anyway)”

  1. Charles II said

    And in Alaska, they could use sled dogs to get around the problem that bikes have in deep snow.

  2. Heh! Sled doggies, I suspect, would work best out in the bush — people in urban areas would tend to object to the extra bits of biological material the dogs leave as they travel.

    Deep snow is a problem for most vehicles. Urban areas try to keep the roads clear, but it’s still a problem. However, studded tires (which are legal for bikes in all states, IIRC) do help (and bikes with electric-assist motors help as well, especially on hills). There are also bikes such as this beast, with tires nearly four (4) inches wide, designed to float on top of snow or sand.

  3. Elliot said

    Great idea for cities and suburbs! Wouldn’t work here in the rural mountains (where it is 6 miles uphill from town, over gravel roads), but it would balance things out well.

  4. Charles II said

    Yes, I was joking about sled dogs. :-)

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