UPS To Expand Its Air Hub At Cologne-Bonn Airport


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UPS To Expand Its Air Hub At Cologne-Bonn Airport

By Mike Mitchell

September 15, 2011 - 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.  

At an estimated $200 million, this expansion will constitute UPS's largest facility investment outside the United States in the company's history. 

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 190,000 packages per hour, ensuring UPS's Cologne/Bonn air hub remains one of the most advanced sorting facilities in the world.

UPS originally chose Cologne/Bonn as the location for its European air hub due to its excellent location, 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.    

"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 already is 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. Speaking to a group of top military, government and industry leaders, Scott Davis, chairman and CEO of UPS and a member of the President's Export Council, explained that more U.S. exports are needed to create jobs and promote economic growth in the United States, which also can lead to a more stable world. Davis was the keynote speaker yesterday at the National Defense Transportation Association meeting here.

"Thanks to the professionalism and expertise of our armed forces, the U.S. is still a military super power," said Davis. "But when it comes to trade, we are letting other countries move to the forefront." Davis acknowledged challenges facing the U.S., including unsustainable federal deficits and the persistently weak job market. But he countered that the solution is "much stronger economic growth fueled by U.S. exports and robust global trade."

"When trade crosses borders, millions of people see a better future and that makes all of us safer," Davis commented. "I truly believe we must continue the long march to more trade and prosperity." He went on to discuss ways to boost U.S. exports by unleashing global trade constraints, including: Streamline export controls. This would boost U.S. GDP by $64 billion and create about 160,000 manufacturing jobs over the next eight years. "That's low hanging fruit," he said. Pass job-creating free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, which he said were "stuck in the mud of partisanship" in Washington.


"We have the means to compete with any country in the world and win, Davis said. "Let's clear away the barriers to exports, let global commerce shift into high gear and create much needed jobs here at home."

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