The Cologne/Bonn Airport hub has been UPS’s main European gateway since 1986. Total project cost was $135 million for the 813,000 square foot building, the largest facility investment outside the U.S. in the company’s history. The new sorting capacity of 110,000 packages per hour – movement of more than 30 packages per second – may easily be expanded to 165,000 packages per hour as shipping demands increase. In 2005, for example, the carrier’s European export volume grew almost 15% year over year.
As construction began in June 2003, two challenges had to be met. First, operations in the original hub had to be maintained throughout the construction process. Second, land availability at the site was extremely limited. Operations did continue and the three-story air hub contains a second building connected to the original building by means of two bridges. Each of the bridges contains eight conveyors used to move packages back and forth between the buildings. One bridge is 413 feet long; the other is 499 feet long.
The new European hub joins UPS’s global network with facilities in Taiwan and the Philippines in Asia and Worldport in Louisville, Ky.
Net income for UPS in the fourth quarter of 2005 was $1.05 billion with global volumes climbing 7.9% to a record 16.8 million packages per day. Overall in 2005, the company delivered some 3.75 billion packages.
In the fourth quarter, domestic package revenues were up 8.9% to $7.82 billion while international package revenues were $2.22 billion, a jump of 18.3% year over year. The company’s acquisitions of Menlo Worldwide Forwarding and Overnite paid off as the supply chain and freight segments of the business grew 146% to $1.91 billion.