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UPS expands Cologne/Bonn Airport hub

By Hpanchal on September 15, 2011

UPS is expanding its air hub at Germany’s Cologne/Bonn Airport, deploying new technologies and increasing the size of its current facilities. The $200 million project, which will enable UPS to process larger shipments, is slated for completion by the end of 2013.

Once completed, the expanded hub will allow UPS to sort 80,000 more packages each hour, transitioning from 110,000 to 190,000 parcels. What’s more, UPS officials said, this renovation marks the logistics company’s largest expansion outside of the U.S. in its 104-year history.

Choosing Cologne as the setting for its European air hub was a strategic decision, UPS officials revealed. In addition to a strong infrastructure and an extensive road network, the German city boasts an advanced airport runway system, a UPS spokesman said. Plus, Cologne/Bonn Airport allows UPS to fly at night until at least 2030, he explained.

It’s benefits like these that UPS Europe President Jim Barber cites as crucial to his company’s operations.

“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,” Barber said in a statement. “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.”

With export volumes out of Europe surging more than 10 percent in the past decade, UPS hopes to take advantage of this growth trend. The expanded hub won’t just benefit UPS customers, however; it will also boost the European economy by creating nearly 200 new jobs by the time it opens, a company spokesman asserted.

This, combined with the customer service implications, makes the expanded hub particularly advantageous, Barber added. “[The expansion] is good news for UPS customers in Europe and all over the world,” he said. “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.”

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