The NYTimes blog has an entry about UPS using bicycle riders to deliver courier. First things first – I am not sure why this is such a big thing that the NYTimes’ greeinc blog decided to pick it up. And second (and possibly more important) is the view that I would share with achampag in trying to understand if the savings that UPS makes are passed onto the customer. Actually, I am more interested in knowing if the savings are passed to the rider. If the rider, as explained is a noob, then what is the motivation for the rider to peddle to work, while (s)he sees her/his colleagues driving the vans ? And what is the benefit I get to cycle ? If the bicycle riders are paid the same wages as the ones driving the vans – then, isn’t that filling up the coffers of the big shots of the company ? Yes, it is ecologically better, but if the benefits are not passed to the employee (and may be the customer), then it isn’t good enough – or is it ? Would like to know your views on this.
Continuing on the above, consider this – bicycle rider delivers courier –> saves company money –> company invests the saved money in ?
- More vans ?
- More bicycles ?
If the company were to invest the money in more vans, then the overall effect isn’t any ecological protection, or is it ? (assuming they invest in the hydraulic hybrid vehicles – more on those later). If the company were to invest more in bicycles, then there is an affect on their delivery times. I am sure that the folks in UPS are smart enough to figure this out and I would like to see how they would go about handling this situation. I wonder how one can model this problem as any of the various kinds of problems in OR. How many variables will exist for this ? Any examples for modelling these kinds of problems will be very helpful – please mention them in the comments.