Saving Money By Not Turning Left

By on December 16, 2007

You know those annoying waits sitting in the left-turn lane waiting for an opening in traffic? Someone at UPS has been thinking about it, and how that affects the bottom line.

The company employs what it calls a “package flow” software program, which… maps out routes for every one of its drivers, drastically reducing the number of left-hand turns they make (taking into consideration, of course, those instances where not to make the left-hand turn would result in a ridiculously circuitous route).

I don’t know if this would help any of us save fuel on our daily commute or running errands, but when you’re talking about 95,000 big brown trucks running all over the place all day every weekday, it adds up to big big savings.

NT Times article, via the always neat Neatorama.



  1. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do!

    (not sure of origin.. I remember it from a big list of oneliners/taglines from back in my BBSing days)

  2. That is cool…..given at most intersections it is legal to make a right turn on red. The thought must be reprogrammed for the “wrong” hand-drive, though :-)

  3. I have an old college friend who made a little extra money using this same idea.

    He delivered subs, and in his mind he would plan a route that took advantage of right turns over left ones. He would always come back earlier, which meant he was next in line to take more subs out. He always ended up making more tips than everyone else because…

    1. He was faster
    2. He delivered more subs

    I’m sure it’s common among delivery people. But it seemed ingenious to my young college mind.

  4. Another random fact: In China (RHD), to make a right turn is called “a small turn,” whereas to make a left turn (crossing oncoming traffic) is to make a “big turn”.

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