UPS today announced it has ordered 14 new Boeing 747-8 cargo jets to meet increased demand for the company’s air shipping services.
UPS’s long term strategy is to increase customers’ access to global markets and air shipments are a major growth opportunity for the company. The 747-8s will enable UPS to begin a cascade of aircraft route reassignments that will add significant air capacity to the company’s busiest lanes, thereby optimizing global air network capacity well beyond the impact of adding new cargo jets.
“UPS is making several strategic capital investments for increased global operating capacity,” said David Abney, UPS chairman and CEO. “These investments will help enable customers to expand their presence in new and existing markets while fueling our profitable growth and attainment of UPS’s long term business objectives.”
The 14 aircraft are to be delivered between 2017 and 2020. The value of the contract, which also contains options for 14 additional jets in the future, was not disclosed. The new jumbo freighters will be added to the company’s existing operating fleet of more than 500 aircraft.
In addition, the 747-8 offers training and operating efficiencies to UPS. Pilots of the company’s existing 747-400 fleet will enjoy a common equipment rating, allowing them to fly both aircraft types. Further, UPS will realize greater economies of scale in maintenance and ground handling by operating the -8 aircraft.
The 747-8 freighters carry 34 shipping containers on its main deck and 14 in its lower compartments. The -8 has a cargo capacity of 307,600 pounds, or approximately 30,000 packages and a range of 4,340 nautical miles. The new -8 aircraft line has a strong industry safety and reliability record.
“We benefit from the youngest fleet in the industry and we are continuously investing for both operating safety and efficiency,” said Brendan Canavan, UPS Airlines president.
“This investment supports our customers’ future capacity needs while also reducing fuel use and emissions, which enhances UPS Airlines’ position as an industry leader in sustainability.”