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Rival US Postal Companies Team Up To Save Fuel

This post first appeared on 2degrees on December 18, 2012.

Two of the biggest postal companies in the US have joined forces in a bid to cut carbon and fuel costs.

The world’s biggest post company, the US Postal Service (USPS), and the world’s biggest delivery company, UPS, have unveiled plans to work together on a new sustainability initiative called "Blue and Brown Make Green."

The two companies have released few details as to how the collaboration will work, but in a joint video statement, the heads of both businesses hailed the initiative as a means for both companies to “reduce costs, serve customers better and achieve sustainability goals.”

The companies confirmed they will seek to build on the existing partnership that sees the USPS and UPS simultaneously compete for customers while making use of each other’s services.

The USPS already delivers many UPS packages over the ‘last mile’ and provides drop-off points for UPS customers. Similarly, UPS carries many USPS letters and parcels throughout the year.

The two businesses are keen to not only expand the joint sharing of services, but also provide a template for how competitive companies can collaborate and find efficiencies in the supply chain.

“This collaboration to reduce the carbon footprint of our respective supply chains is the sustainability wave of the future,” said UPS chief executive, Scott Davis. “Our planes and trucks can minimize empty space; across our supply chains less fuel is burned and less carbon is emitted.”

Meanwhile, USPS postmaster general Patrick Donahoe urged other postal firms to investigate how they can work together to “better serve customers, the planet and the bottom line.”

“Continuing to optimize our postal network, realigning our workforce, and reduce energy to drive down costs, this working relationship with UPS supports the Postal Service’s goal to deliver mail at the lowest cost with the minimal impact on the environment,” he said.

USPS delivers almost 40% of the world’s mail volume to more than 151 million addresses in the US, while UPS delivers more than four billion packages and documents a year to more than 220 countries and territories.

The companies said they were still “keen competitors,” but are also each other’s customers, and sharing sustainability data would help both to find new opportunities to be cost effective and more sustainable.

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