UPS (Atlanta) announced the start of direct air service from Shanghai to Europe along with the addition of three new flights connecting Shanghai to the U.S. and another new flight between Qingdao and Incheon, Korea.
"UPS now flies to more points in China than any other U.S. airline, freight or passenger," said David Abney, president, International Operations. "These new flights are part of our strategy to expand our service options, stay ahead of customer needs and solidify our position as the leader in the world's fastest growing market."
UPS will use MD-11 aircraft to fly from Shanghai to Cologne five times a week. In addition to the new service to Europe, UPS has added three new frequencies on its Shanghai-U.S. route, increasing to nine times per week the number of non-stop flights on that lane. The number of UPS flights into Qingdao, a major port and manufacturing center, now has increased to six per week.
The airline's growth is part of a broader effort to accelerate global trade and offer new service options to customers. UPS in recent months has doubled the size of its air hub in Cologne, Germany; begun expanding its network reach inside China and Japan; expanded its intra-Asia air hub in the Philippines; is nearing completion of a new 425,000-square-foot freight and logistics hub in Singapore; is developing a new air hub in Shanghai, and has re-engineered its U.S. ground network to accelerate the delivery of more than half-a-million packages every day.
Last year, UPS became the first carrier in the industry to acquire direct control of its operations inside China. That move came at a time when China export volume surged 50% over 2004. Export volume for all of Asia jumped almost 30% in 2005. Today, UPS provides customers in China with wide access to markets in China, Asia and around the world by operating a network of 194 flights per week.
The company also launched a domestic express package service inside China last year. And just last month, the company expanded its international express service to 22 more business locations in China, bringing to 330 the number cities served in the country. Those cities account for roughly 85% of China's international trade. UPS China currently operates 75 facilities, deploys more than 1,400 vehicles and employs more than 4,000 people. Later this year, UPS plans to enter the retail sector in Shanghai by introducing UPS Express Centers to provide customers with more service options.
UPS also is stepping up its work as the Official Logistics and Express Delivery sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. In this capacity, UPS provides logistics consultation and assistance to Beijing's organizing committee. UPS also will provide express delivery services to all venues specified by the organizing committee for the duration of the Games. UPS Supply Chain Solutions opened seven new logistics facilities in China in 2005 and is constructing additional facilities this year.
"It's a given that the pace of business just keeps accelerating and you have to work hard to keep up," said Mike Eskew, UPS's chairman and CEO. "But what makes me so proud of this organization is that at a time of record growth, the men and women of UPS not only are keeping up but raising the competitive bar and building capabilities that will ensure the highest levels of customer service for decades to come."