UPS finishes Louisville Centennial expansion project

Express services giant UPS has completed a multi-phase expansion of its Louisville Centennial ground package sortation and distribution facility.

“Tripling the size of our Centennial hub provides companies with distribution centers and operations in Kentucky and the surrounding areas with more opportunities to better serve their customers,” stated Joe Boyle, president of UPS’s Ohio Valley District.

The Louisville Centennial facility’s proximity to UPS’s Worldport air hub at Louisville International Airport, supports end-of-runway express services like the UPS Next Day Air and UPS eFulfillment products that the integrator says many e-commerce companies demand.

The Centennial hub can introduce packages into UPS’s air operations as late as 1:30 in the morning for delivery across the country the same day.

“UPS is building innovative solutions to serve small, medium and large businesses in Louisville, throughout the Ohio Valley, across the United States and around the world,” Boyle added.

“This expansion is part of how UPS is enabling companies of all sizes to deliver products when, where and how their customers want.”

The expanded Centennial facility can process approximately 85,000 packages per hour, making use of nearly 25 miles of conveyors and highly automated processing equipment.

Six-sided laser label decode tunnels rapidly capture package information from address labels. High-speed label applicators place UPS ‘smart labels’ on packages at a rate of three per second, providing UPS personnel with instructions as to appropriate routeing and loading into waiting trailers or smaller package delivery vehicles.

According to UPS, ‘super hubs’ like Centennial, “increase the speed and flexibility of packages moving through UPS’s smart global logistics network”.

They also have a significantly higher package processing capacity than most other package operations facilities, it points out.

The Louisville hub expansion project forms just part of a multi-year UPS investment plan to modernise and expand the company’s global network, including adding several new facilities and acquiring new cargo aircraft.

In November, UPS opened a new package delivery facility in Richwood, Kentucky, to serve the rapidly growing business and residential demand in the surrounding area that takes in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Both this and Centennial are understood to utilise UPS’s proprietary network planning software that integrates UPS’s air and ground operations across the US and around the globe. The technology enables UPS to more efficiently manage spikes in shipping volume and severe weather.

“The commonwealth of Kentucky congratulates UPS on completing their transformative $310m Centennial Ground hub expansion at Louisville International Airport,” Kentucky’s governor, Matt Bevin, said.

“The sky is truly the limit as UPS continues to expand its extensive operations here in Kentucky, America’s premier transportation and logistics hub.”

UPS employs more than 29,000 people across Kentucky in package delivery operations, air operations, ground freight, healthcare logistics and contract logistics.

Louisville is the home of UPS’s Worldport air hub, the largest automated package handling facility in the world, and the centrepoint of UPS’s worldwide air network.


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