UPS Prepares for 4th Industrial Revolution Through Big Data, Artificial Intelligence

Big Data

A delivery van of UPS. / Photo by: Qualle via Wikimedia Commons


There is a lot of motivation for the United Parcel Service to use technology in improving efficiency in its operations after the company discovered it can save up to US$ 50 million annually if truck drivers can each shorten their daily routes by a mile, according to Bernard Marr, writing for Forbes magazine. 

UPS Operations Catapulted by Technology

The company was established in 1907 and is known for adapting itself to technological innovations. By using big data and artificial intelligence, UPS was able to operate a global logistics network spanning 220 countries around the globe. On a daily basis, as many as 96,000 UPS vehicles are transporting 19 million packages. It spends US$ 1 billion each year on technological investments that improve efficiency and customer service. 


The UPS chatbot is an artificial intelligence-powered tool that simulates the human voice and can answer customer queries, such as the location of the nearest UPS store. The bot can also monitor packages in transit and quote shipping rates. Customers can use their cell phones to query the chatbot or through digital assistants Alexa and Google Assistant. The chatbot is capable of processing customer requests and will take the necessary steps to answer them. 

UPS My Choice

During busy periods, UPS sent out more than 137 million UPS My Choice alerts, the system that enables residential customers to decide how, where, and when packages can be delivered to their homes. Both the chatbot and the UPS My Choice are connected to each other so that customers can retrieve information about their packages and deliveries even if they do not have a tracking number. 


The On-road Integrated Optimization and Navigation or ORION uses cutting-edge algorithms in finding optimal routes for UPS truck drivers based on customer data. Such routes can be altered due to inclement weather or traffic accidents. ORION will continue optimizing truck routes by considering undelivered packages.