On the day that marks 25 years since UPS started its operations at Cologne/Bonn Airport in Germany, the company announced plans to significantly expand its European air hub facilities there.
The expansion project, due to be completed by the end of 2013, would equip the existing facility with additional state-of-the-art technology and would include a major extension to the existing building. This extension would be partially dedicated to processing larger freight shipments. Together, these initiatives will significantly increase the hub's package sorting capacity from today's 110,000 to 190,000packages per hour, ensuring UPS's Cologne/Bonn air hub remains one of the most advanced sorting facilities in the world. At an estimated $200 million, this expansion will constitute UPS's largest facility investment outside the United States in the company's history.
UPS originally chose Cologne/Bonn as the location for its European air hub on account of its excellent location at the heart of Europe's most productive economic region, the area's well developed road network and infrastructure, the good local weather conditions for year-round flight operations, the airport's excellent runway system and its proximity to a skilled and flexible workforce. Those conditions have not changed to this day. Crucially, Cologne/Bonn Airport also offers UPS the possibility to fly at night until at least 2030.
"The Cologne hub has served us well for 25 years and continues to be exactly where we need it in order to best serve our customers on the important trading lanes within Europe, and beyond to the Americas and Asia," said Jim Barber, president, UPS Europe. "This investment demonstrates our long-term confidence in, and commitment to, the European economy and its businesses that continue to produce goods sought after the world over."
UPS has enjoyed great success in Europe, with a compound annual export volume growth rate of more than 10% over the past 10 years. With the planned expansion announced today, UPS is positioning itself for continued growth of its international express business.
"This announcement is good news for UPS customers in Europe and all over the world," added Barber. "Increased capacity and efficiency at our Cologne/Bonn facility will ensure they continue to enjoy the highest possible levels of service in today's highly competitive, fast-moving global economy."
UPS is already the largest employer at Cologne/Bonn Airport, with almost 2,300 employees. The expansion is expected to create up to 200 new jobs at the hub by the end of 2013, a figure that will rise further as new capacity is utilized.