In Greek mythology, Orion was a hunter and such a hero that Zeus placed him among the stars for all to see. Even amateur astronomers know his constellation by sight, and it has long been a valuable navigational aid for sailors.

Today, the UPS On Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION) is just as epic. It’s how the iconic package delivery company spells innovation.

ORION is a long-term investment by UPS to boost service while improving operational efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. It does so by using expansive fleet telematics and advanced algorithms to gather and calculate vast amounts of data to provide UPS drivers with optimized routes.

ORION contains nearly 1,000 pages of code, which crunches 55,000 routes and 250 million addresses on a daily basis. A team of UPS operations researchers and mathematicians developed the proprietary algorithm that powers ORION.

For every single route, ORION evaluates more than 200,000 alternatives. Check the numbers that many times and you’ve got to like your odds of getting it right.

Although it won’t be fully implemented until the end of the year, ORION is already paying dividends. As of December 2015, ORION had already saved UPS more than $320 million. Once fully deployed, ORION is expected to save $300 million to $400 million annually. 

It certainly means a reduction in miles driven, but it’s not bad for UPS green initiatives either. Each year, ORION cuts fuel consumption by an estimated 10 million gallons and CO2 production by 100,000 metric tons.

As impressive as those figures are, the numbers that helped make them a reality are mind-blowing and award-winning. ORION won the 2016 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

“This honor recognizes many years, countless resources and teams of people dedicated to deployment of one of the largest operations research projects in the world,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “ORION will lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings, reduced fuel usage, and it supports our efforts to strive towards improved sustainability.”

ORION continues UPS’s long history of innovation and automation. For the customer, it means faster and more efficient deliveries. Through comprehensive scanning and tracking, they can be sure UPS is keeping close tabs on the 32 million packages it delivers each day.

So, like its namesake in the sky, ORION is a hero again. Zeus would be proud. AMT and IMTS are proud to have UPS as our Global Logistics Provider.