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2002 Press Releases

UPS Completes Seven-Year, US$1 Billion Expansion Of Air Hub

Tech-Driven "Worldport" Ensures Reliability And Capacity for Customers Worldwide

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 27, 2002 � UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced completion of a more-than-US$1 billion expansion of its global all-points air facility in Louisville. The newly named UPS Worldportsm is the centerpiece of the company's global distribution network.

The project more than doubles the size of the sorting complex to 4 million square feet - the equivalent of more than 80 football fields - and automates the express package sorting process with advanced, customized technology. The expansion is the largest capital project in the company's 95-year history and increases the hub's sorting capacity to 304,000 packages per hour - or more than 84 packages every second.

The expanded capacity and automated sorting translate to greater reliability and faster transit times for customers.

UPS formally celebrated the inauguration of the Worldport in Louisville today, although planning began in 1995 and construction began in 1999.

"This is a powerful example of the innovative spirit of UPS's people, a spirit that continually reinvents this company to serve the needs of our customers," said Chairman and CEO Mike Eskew. "Through UPS Worldport and our vast integrated transportation network, UPS connects the world, now like never before."

The movement of packages through the vast facility's labyrinth of high-speed conveyors is synchronized by a sophisticated system of cameras that read the detailed information encoded in UPS "smart labels," triggering a network of computer-activated sorting and tracking devices that process 59 million database transactions every hour. Packages are routed through the system's 122 miles of conveyors in as little as eight minutes.

With the opening of UPS Worldport in Louisville, the company has readied itself for the continued growth of its international and domestic air express business. Customized software and technology ensure the hub's efficiency, reducing manual package handling during the sorting process from six times to only two. Additionally, the entire operation is expandable to accommodate up to 500,000 packages each hour, a remarkable 140 packages per second.

The completion of the massive hub is just one aspect of UPS's recent expansion of its air network worldwide. In the past year the company has:

  • Opened an intra-Asia air hub in the Philippines, where volume from countries linked to the hub grew by 20 percent during the second quarter of 2002.
  • Completed its Latin America gateway expansion at Miami International Airport, where UPS is the largest air cargo carrier.
  • And announced plans to double the sorting capacity of its Europe air hub in Cologne/Bonn, Germany.

UPS Airlines, launched in 1988, is one of the fastest growing airlines in FAA history; it is the 11th largest airline in the world and flies more than 1,000 flight segments each day.

The expansion of UPS's air operations also has allowed the company to broaden the Next Day Early A.M.� service by 600 ZIP Codes for those customers requiring first-thing-in-the-morning delivery. With the added ZIP Codes, Early A.M., which guarantees delivery by 8 a.m., now reaches 11,670 ZIPs in the United States, almost 60 percent more than any other express carrier.

Founded in 1907, UPS is the world's largest express carrier and largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services, serving more than 200 countries and territories. With more than 250 heavy jet aircraft, UPS Airlines is the 9th largest in North America and the 11th largest in the world. In addition to Next Day air delivery, UPS also offers same-day delivery through its SonicAir service. In 2001, UPS generated revenues of US$30.3 billion and delivered more than 3.4 billion packages and documents worldwide. Headquartered in Atlanta, the company resides on the Web at


Except for historical information contained herein, the statements made in this release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of UPS and its management regarding the company's strategic directions, prospects and future results. Certain factors may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including economic and other conditions in the markets in which we operate, governmental regulations, our competitive environment, strikes, work stoppages and slowdowns (or customer behavior in anticipation of such events), increases in aviation and motor fuel prices, cyclical and seasonal fluctuations in our operating results, and other risks discussed in the company's Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which discussions are incorporated herein by reference.

For more information, contact:
  • UPS Public Relations
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