Delivery Companies, not Santa Clause, Are Coming to Town with Good Fuel Management

As turkeys around the world that survived the Thanksgiving holiday breathe a gobble of relief, consumers take a big gulp as they wonder how they’ll do all, if any, holiday shopping. While it would be nice if a big fat man in red delivered our wish list for being good, we know unfortunately that’s not the case. So how do all the holiday gifts to straight to your door?

There are miracle delivery companies out there that will deliver the 13.7% rise in online sales from Cyber Monday. So what does it take for the U.S Post office, UPS and FedEx to handle millions of deliveries in December?

Well, with a 221,000 fleet the United State Post office will reach or exceed their 121 million gallons of diesel fuel used annually. They do after all; deliver to over 149 million residences. FedEx, with a prominent investment in hybrid vehicles that use bio fuel & reduce carbon footprint as noted by, has 48,000 vehicles. UPS, arguably the largest delivery company around, has over 100,000 vehicles which drive up a tally of over 2 Billion dollars a year alone in fleet fuel for the giant. That is one big fleet fuel cost. Sounds like these companies should have fuel management & fleet fuel planning on their mind at all times.

The UPS fleet fuel savings plan is not based sole on a single plan; rather they implement many micro plans. These micro plans start with their fleet management company that helps ensure fleet fueling is properly procured. Another fuel management plan is designing delivery routes to best utilize the drivers time and reduce left turns, which wastes idling time , idiling which increases carbon footprints and fleet fuel usage. This alone will save UPS 3,000,000 gallons of fleet fuel. While that may not be a transaction it sure is one way to handle fuel management and a good fleet fuel program. They also implore ‘driver helpers’ in December, who will run off a package while the driver stays in the truck, this reduces the amount of time a truck will idle as well, more reduction of a carbon footprint.

The drivers at these dedicated companies don’t get snow days (barring a State of Emergency in most cases), they run and walk in the rain, and they eat lunches in under 10 min and have late hours. Behind the trucks are thousands of other employees who sort the packages, ones who load the trucks, others to plan the routes. There are managers who run smooth operations and keep fuel management and employee concerns on the top of their ‘to do’ lists. Santa makes it look easy, his fuel planning program is carrots for the reindeer and his fuel management program is set.

So when it’s a late Saturday morning and you look out your window at the falling snow or rain with that cup of hot coffee in your hand and you see a large truck, be it brown or white, pull up to your home or a neighbors and a man or women jump out and run up (with a smile) to deliver a much anticipated package. Take a second to think about how much more it takes than one person, more than one collaboration, many fleet fuel driven miles to get that one single parcel to the door on time. I heard even Santa uses a fuel consultant to help him with his fuel management. Someone has to know how what the fuel price is for carrots and do a fuel audit on the carrots. Happy Holidays.

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