UPS Expands its European Air Hub

Cologne/BonnApril 1, 2014UPS celebrated the official opening of a $200 million expansion of its European air hub facilities at Cologne/Bonn Airport in Germany that continue to serve as Europe’s window into the world of international trade and export. The expansion, which took two years to construct and already created an additional 200 jobs, constitutes one of UPS’s largest facility investments in the company’s history and cements its position as the largest employer at the airport with more than 2,500 employees today. 

“With this upgrade, we now have the equivalent of 15 football fields of sorting space for a growing export economy on the move,” said Cindy Miller, president, UPS Europe. “All of this ensures that UPS’s Cologne/Bonn air hub remains the centerpiece of the company’s European express network, a key component of UPS’s global air operations, and one of the largest and most advanced sorting facilities in the world.”

The operating area now measures more than 105,000 square meters (1,130,000 square feet). The addition of eight automated sorters increases the hub’s package sorting capacity by 70 percent to 190,000 packages per hour—or around 53 packages per second. The conveyor system now covers a distance of about 40 kilometers (25 miles), with a package taking an average of just 15 minutes to move through the hub from unload to load point.  

The expansion equips the existing facility with additional technology and includes a building extension that is partially dedicated to processing larger express freight shipments. The Cologne/Bonn facility serves as an international logistics hub for both major multi-nationals, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe wishing to tap into UPS’s trading network.       

“The Cologne/Bonn hub is our flagship facility in Europe, and continues to serve us and the needs of our customers well,” said Miller. “Our strategic investment in Germany, one of the world’s top exporters, underscores our commitment to the European economy. This is part of a long-term strategy to help our customers successfully compete, and do business on the important trading lanes within Europe and linking Europe to North America and Asia in an era when free trade agreements on the horizon promise growth for companies large and small.”

As an early investor in European operations with Germany as its hub, UPS enjoyed great success in Europe with solid export volume growth over the past decade. With the Cologne hub expansion in place, UPS can reliably connect the world to Europe and Europe to the world, and positioned itself for continued growth in its international express business.

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