UPS today announced it has ordered 14 B747-8F and four new B767 freighters to provide additional capacity in response to what it says is accelerating demand for the company’s air services. All of the new aircraft will be added to the existing fleet and no existing aircraft are being replaced, it said.
The aircraft will be delivered on an expedited schedule, building on the company’s 2016 order of 14 B747-8 freighters. All 32 of the aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2022, adding more than 4.08 million kg of cargo capacity. UPS’ global airline network includes more than 500 owned and leased aircraft. UPS received three new B747-8 freighters in 2017.
“Our intra-US, next-day and deferred air shipments are expanding to record levels and UPS’ International segment has produced four consecutive quarters of double-digit export shipment growth,” said David Abney, UPS chairman and CEO.
“To support this strong customer demand, we continue to invest in additional air capacity, providing the critical link our customers need to markets around the world.”
In addition to growing customer demand for express services, recent US tax reform legislation is enabling UPS to utilise tax savings to significantly increase capital investments and to make them earlier than previously planned.
“As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of UPS Airlines today, we are seeing unprecedented demand for our air products,” said UPS Airlines president Brendan Canavan. “The new freighters will allow us to continue upsizing aircraft on routes and will create a cascading effect that will boost capacity on regional routes around the world.”
The B747-8 freighter carries 46 shipping containers, 34 on its main deck and 12 in its lower compartments. The B747-8 has a cargo capacity of 140 tonnes, or approximately 30,000 packages and a range of 4,200 nautical miles. The new -8 aircraft line has a strong industry safety, reliability, and environmental record, the express company said.
The B767 freighter has cargo capacity of 60 tonnes and capacity for 31 containers, 24 on the main deck and seven in its lower hold and has a range of approximately 3,000 nautical miles. UPS currently operates 59 B767 aircraft.
“UPS has clearly tapped into the power and efficiency the 747-8 Freighter brings to the market,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Kevin McAllister. “We’re impressed with how UPS is leveraging the airplane in its operations and excited to see them bring additional 767s into their fleet.”