The UPS Worldport in Louisville, Ky., is the center of the company’s international shipping operations. It’s the size of 90 football fields, sorts 350,000 packages an hour and contributes 20,000 jobs to the local economy. We took a peek inside their busiest shift: 11p.m. to 3a.m. a week before Christmas.
Monday marks the highest global pickup day for UPS with some 34 million packages to be picked up across the world — double the normal volume. Nearly 29 million of those packages will be delivered on Tuesday. Overall, The company expects to deliver more than 129 million packages the week before Christmas, said Dan McMackin, a UPS spokesman. “During this busiest time, we will be delivering about 300 packages per second,” he said.
At Worldport, a $2 billion automated processing facility that’s roughly the size of 90 football fields (5.2 million square feet), they call these days “the playoffs.” They call Dec. 23 — UPS peak air delivery day — the Superbowl.
“We prepare for peak season all year long; we have to be ready for anything,” “It’s organized chaos, but it’s fun. This time of year, many of us run on pure adrenaline.”said Amy Sitterly, the operations manager of Worldport, which has 70 aircraft docks and 155 miles of conveyor belts capable of sorting 416,000 packages per hour from 220 countries across the globe.
United Parcel Service Inc, the world’s largest package delivery company by revenue, is looking to keep an upper hand in the Chinese market by adding 14 inner-city express services next year.
UPS began domestic courier services in 2012, when it was granted seven licenses by the State Post Bureau of China. With more goods circulating in the world’s most populous market, it expanded to 19 first- and second-tier cities this year and expects to reach 33 cities in 2014.
Scott Davis, chief executive officer of UPS, said that China’s middle class will grow significantly over the next 20 years and more delivery services will be needed, so the company wants to expand its network in the country.
Driven by the growth in e-commerce, UPS (NYSE: UPS) expects to pick up more than 34 million packages today, Monday, Dec. 16, and expects to deliver 29 million packages globally on Tuesday, Dec. 17, a record for a single day at the world’s largest package delivery company. During UPS’s 107th holiday season, Dec. 16 – 20 is known as “Peak Week” due to the surge in volume.
“The entire team at UPS has planned all year to handle the annual increased shipping volume during the holidays,” said Alan Gershenhorn, chief sales, marketing and strategy officer. “As consumers change the way they shop for holiday gifts and shipping needs shift, customers rely even more on UPS for trusted and convenient solutions around the globe.”
Kurt Kuehn, chief financial officer of United Parcel Service Inc., talks about the company’s holiday shipping outlook and business strategy. Kuehn speaks with Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.”