Don Burton, vice president of operations at Eastern Bag and Paper, a distribution company that has just opened a facility at Cabot Drive in Hamilton, knows his left from his right. More importantly, he know how big a deal that really is.

When you make hundreds of deliveries using hundreds of trucks covering thousands of miles, the seemingly insignificant difference between making right turns and left turns adds up quickly. Making lefts take just that much more time and cover just that much more distance, but those extra 10 seconds and 20 yards add up to hours and miles of extra time and fuel. To combat the issue, Burton says, Eastern turned to a company known for its near-manic pursuit of greater efficiency. Eastern installed the UPS-designed-and-owned RoadNet routing system to its fleet recently. RoadNet factors in not just the straightest path and most efficient routes, it factors in the route that will rely heavily on right turns.

Eastern is one of the only paper products distributors in the U.S. that has such technology. And while no studies have been done to count the number of miles and gallons of gas the company has saved so far, Burton says that delivery times have shrunk by as much as 90 minutes a day.

After 90 years distributing industrial paper goods and supplies to hospitals, food service companies, and various other types of institutions, Eastern has overhauled its distribution technologies to give drivers continuous access to the distribution centers. While RoadNet allows executives to monitor the fleet, Eastern uses GPS and mobile telephone software that lets drivers worry less about where they’re going and more about getting there safely and efficiently.

The company also offers real-time interface with its customers, allowing Eastern to process and distribute quickly, Burton says.

Headquartered in Millford, Connecticut, Eastern has distribution centers in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and Hamilton. The company is planning an open house to show off its new Hamilton facility on Wednesday, April 30. The new site is a move from Cranbury, where the company operated for several years. Burton says the reason for the move was simple: “We needed the room.”

Formerly operating in a 50,000-square-foot facility on Route 130, Eastern will now serve the area from New Jersey to Virginia from a 125,000-square-foot distribution center on Cabot Drive. The facility, says Burton, “will support our growth for many years to come.” Burton says the company plans to add as many as 30 employees over the next several years.

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