UPS orders 10,000 electric delivery trucks, plans test of self-driving vans

 ATLANTA – UPS ordered 10,000 electric delivery trucks from electric vehicle maker Arrival, in what it calls a move to accelerate electrification of the fleet.

It is the largest single order for electric vehicles from the shipping giant based in Sandy Springs.

The two companies are working together to develop electric vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems, including the potential for automated movement in UPS warehouses, technology that it will test starting this year.

UPS also announced that it is partnering with Waymo to test autonomous vehicle package pickups in the Phoenix area. UPS said Waymo’s Chrysler Pacific minivans will transport packages from UPS stores to a UPS sorting facility, with a driver on board to monitor operations. The technology allows the company to test subsequent pickups at UPS stores.

 The move comes after Waymo, the autonomous unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., launched in 2018 a pilot program in Atlanta to use a autonomous truck for deliveries to the Google data center, with drivers in the booths to monitor systems and take control if necessary. UPS has been testing autonomous tractor-trailers since last year through a partnership with autonomous driving company TuSimple.

The 10,000 arrival electric delivery trucks will be delivered to UPS from the second half of this year until 2025.

UPS is also making a minor investment in Arribo through its venture capital arm UPS Ventures.

The arrival vehicles will be specifically designed for UPS with advanced vehicle controls, and are expected to be implemented in Europe and North America.

UPS said it will also have priority access to buy more electric vehicles, depending on successful testing of the initial vehicles. Your investment on arrival allows you to speed up orders.

The shipping company has partnered with other electric vehicle companies, including Workhorse Group Inc., and has placed orders for other electric trucks, including Tesla Semi trucks. Of more than 100,000 UPS vehicles globally, the company has around 10,000 alternative fuel vehicles in what it has called its “rolling laboratory,quot; fleet.

UPS did not disclose the price it is paying for the arrival order, but said arrival electric vehicles are a “highly competitive value proposition,quot; compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles and existing electric vehicles.

“Electric vehicles are the cornerstone of our sustainable urban delivery strategies,” said Juan Pérez, director of engineering and information for UPS, in a written statement. “Taking an active investment role in Arrival enables UPS to collaborate in the design and production of the world’s most advanced power supply vehicles.”

According to Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov, vehicles can be created to meet the needs of UPS for driving, loading and unloading and administrative operations.

UPS announced the moves just before reporting a $ 4.4 billion profit for 2019.In announcing results, UPS CEO David Abney said the company is investing in speeding up its delivery network with more automated sorting facilities , expanded weekend operations and new technology, including drone delivery service. in hospital facilities.

The rush is fueled by growth in Amazon’s one-day shipping and consumer demand for faster orders. Amazon is the largest UPS customer.

“We are embracing the move from e-commerce to faster delivery,” said Abney. “We are accelerating our network.”