United Parcel Service (UPS) is 110 years old, and their longevity can be attributed to many things like persistence and service quality, but nothing is more important than shrewd business sense and attention to details.
When UPS first introduced their “don’t turn left policy” back in the 1970s, it certainly made many people scratch their heads for the logic behind it. But soon enough, it was clear that UPS has discovered the most efficient and economical way to distribute their packages.
Whenever a vehicle turns left (in countries with left-hand drive and vice versa for the rest of the world), they have to go against the flow of traffic. Besides creating a traffic hazard, the vehicle also has to wait for the cross-traffic to abate before it can go on with its journey, wasting both time and fuel.
To counter this inefficiency, UPS has devised an onboard navigational system called ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) that guides the drivers to take the shortest route made up primarily of right turns. While this might lead to a looping track, the company estimates it saves up to 10 million gallons of fuel per year and lessens the travel by an average of six to eight miles by this simple technique!
And even though not all left turns are avoidable, and the UPS drivers do have to go left about 10 percent of the time, especially in more rural areas, the turning right technique is a golden rule for any driver to follow when looking to cut corners!