UPS Expands Global Air Capabilities

UPS has activated two ultra-modern air hubs on opposite sides of the globe: a new intra-Asia facility located in Shenzhen, China, and a significantly expanded UPS Worldport global air hub in Louisville, Ky.

The Shenzhen Asia Pacific Hub, located at Shenzhen Baoan International Airport in China’s thriving Pearl River Delta, replaces a UPS hub in Clark, Philippines. The hub represents an investment of $180 million and is designed to reduce shipment time-in-transit for customers in the region, while offering service to the manufacturing region located just north of Shenzhen.

Since taking direct control of its international express operations inside China in 2005, UPS has made significant investments in that country. Last year, UPS opened a new International Air Hub at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, connecting China to the UPS global air network including U.S. and European destinations. The Shenzhen hub plays a different role by connecting all major Asian points for the transport of intra-Asia volume.

The Shenzhen hub totals about 89,000 square meters in size (almost 1 million square feet) and includes an express customs handling unit, sorting facilities, cargo handling and cargo build-up areas and ramp handling operations. It initially is processing up to 18,000 pieces per hour, compared to 7,500 pieces per hour at the former Philippine facility, and can be expanded to a capacity of 36,000 pieces per hour. It employs about 400 people.

The expansion of Worldport, UPS’s global all-points air hub in Louisville, has been underway for four years. The completion of the work enables the hub to process 416,000 packages per hour, up from 350,000 per hour. The expansion also increases to 70 the number of aircraft parking bays at the facility, helping to optimize the UPS air network by allowing more planes to use the highly automated Worldport facility each night.

The $1 billion expansion has increased Worldport’s footprint by 1.1 million square feet to 5.2 million square feet – the equivalent of more than 90 football fields – and the hub now contains 155 miles of conveyors. The original Worldport facility was completed in 2002.

Worldport is the home base of UPS Airlines, one of the world’s largest. UPS air operations encompass more than 1,700 flight segments each day and reach into more than 835 gateways around the world.

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