UPS truck-based package drop-offs
October 26, 1999
I don't know how recent the addition is, but I've noticed in the past few weeks that increasing numbers of UPS trucks have drop slots on the side for people to put delivery envelopes directly into the truck.
My first reaction was to flash back to those TV news-magazine scare stories a few years ago that mentioned how easy it was to send bombs and explosives by different shippers, but then I realized that Manhattan UPS drivers weren't exactly combing through the details of every envelope they picked up from offices, either. So the safety concerns, while presumably valid, aren't significantly more worrisome.
Once I got past the terrorist threat, it seemed a nice repurposing of their existing infrastructure, probably resulting in their number of drop-off locations more than doubling within New York City. It also turns a decidedly negative but unfortunately unavoidable reality of their business (the gridlock-inducing need to keep their huge trucks double-parked all over the city's narrow streets) into an asset, albeit one they would be foolish to market.
Maybe they should publicize this repurposing of another example (besides their obviously intrinsic role in the ecommerce world) of their assertion that UPS is really an Internet company. Explains why they're heading for an IPO, at least...