Carlo Ritacco is the Center Manager of the UPS depot Hamburg-Nord and responsible for 323 employees. In regular meetings he discusses important issues with his crew. Last year in October, the morning meeting was suddenly interrupted by a loud horn and full-beam headlamps. The new delivery vehicle “UPS P70” has arrived.
At that moment the employees didn’t care about the meeting anymore. Ritacco remembers: “It was unbelievable what was going on there. Everyone wanted to take a look at the vehicle because it’s our most important working tool.”
The UPS P70 is the product of an incredible cooperation between UPS, Mercedes-Benz and the body manufacturer Spier. Within one year the project participants developed a prototype on the basis of the Sprinter. This model was customised exactly for the requirements of a delivery service.
The result is impressive. Numerous innovations improve the daily routine of the drivers and make it faster and safer. After completing the development phase, the UPS P70 was tested intensively for six month. “We’re not handling the Sprinter with kid gloves. The vehicle is tested every day,” says Ritacco.
In the first three months the P70 was tested in inner-city traffic on a short distance: there were 120 stops, engine on and off and 60-70 kilometres daily. In the second half of the test phase the vehicle got off to another delivery area, out of the inner-city traffic and on the way to the motorway.
The first experiences with the Sprinter are very positive. “It makes our life so much easier,” thinks driver Christian Prusseit. “It feels like driving a passenger car and the quiet running is awesome. The stress is reduced significantly.”
Photos: Christian Schmid