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UPS rolls out plans for Atlanta-based hub

UPS said earlier today it will break ground on a $400 million Atlanta-based regional package sorting hub, which will be located on the west side of the city. This hub is part of the company’s multi-year investment plan to modernize and expand its global network, which also includes other new facilities and acquiring new cargo aircraft. 

The hub will be built on a 342-acre industrial site in Fulton County and will include support from economic teams in Georgia, Atlanta, and Fulton County. It is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2018 and will have 1.250 new employee positions operating on multiple sorting shifts. 

And UPS explained this 1.2 million square-foot hub will be comprised of the company’s latest sorting, processing, and data capture technology used by UPS to compile significant volumes of shipment data status while moving packages through its transportation network. What’s more, it added that more than 100,000 packages per hour will be carried over 15 miles of conveyors using highly automated processing equipment.

Also featured in this hub will be a delivery vehicle center with the capability to dispatch more than 280 trucks for area delivery and pickup, as well as a UPS Customer Center for retail service, and onsite compressed natural gas fueling for delivery vehicles and larger tractor-trailer rigs to service the local UPS alternative fuel vehicles fleet.

“UPS has proudly made its global headquarters in Atlanta for more than two decades,” said David Abney, UPS chairman and CEO, in a statement.  “This strategic capital investment will feature state-of-the-art technology. When combined with the strong transportation connections and talented labor pool that Atlanta provides, UPS is building flexibility to meet the growing needs of our customers and our business in Georgia, and around the world.”

The Atlanta hub will be third largest for UPS behind its Worldport facility in Louisville, Kentucky at 5.2 million square-feet and the UPS Chicago Area Consolidation Hub at 1.5 million square-feet.

The Atlanta hub will provide UPS customers with increased efficiency throughout the network and more rapid throughput concentrated in this facility, explained UPS spokesperson Susan Rosenberg.

“The advanced automation gives us flexibility to deal with volume fluctuations to move packages through the building,” she said. “That further provides better handling and accuracy for sorting and loading. We maintain service while both our customers and UPS grow.”

As for what drove the need to build this hub, Rosenberg noted that it largely has to do with its growing package volume throughout the UPS network, especially in residential deliveries, which represented 45 percent of package volume and more than 80 percent of the domestic growth this past quarter.

This new hub will increase UPS capacity as a consolidated location for regional processing in the Southeast, too, she said, adding that its location is beneficial to link road and rail transit for UPS ground shipments.

“It is going to be a showpiece for us with new automation systems for speed and efficiency for even more accuracy and flexibility to sustain reliability as volume continues to grow,” she said.

While full operations for the hub are expected by the end of 2018, Rosenberg said that that there may be some portion of processing that gets activated sooner.

She said that this new facility will add capacity to its network operations and metro Atlanta footprint, observing that there may be some movement or redistribution or work across all operations in the area to optimize the efficiency of its business in the region as it grows.   

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About the Author

Jeff Berman's avatar
Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review and is a contributor to Robotics 24/7. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis.
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