I have been guilty of bombast. But sometimes, I just can’t help it. When your topic is larger than life, it’s easy to get a little overblown. Worldport, our all-points international air hub, is definitely one of those subjects.
When Worldport opened in Louisville in 2002, I wrote: “You are looking, ladies and gentlemen, … at the Versailles of global commerce. The Biltmore of shipping technology. The St. Peters of innovation.” How’s that for big talk, for bombastically bold brick-and-mortar braggadocio?
Well, in the words of another larger-than-life Louisville figure, Muhammad Ali, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.” And Worldport can live up to those comparisons, now more than ever.
This April, UPS finished a four-year, $1 billion expansion of our high-tech air hub, and its mammoth measurements are now even more ginormous. We enhanced Worldport’s sort capacity by 37 percent, from 304,000 packages per hour to 416,000. We increased its footprint 30 percent, from 4 million square feet to 5.2 million square feet under roof. We increased the conveyor belt miles 41 percent, from 110 to 155 miles.
We set a very tight construction timeline, came in ahead of schedule, under budget, and with recognized programs for safety and employing minority and women-owned construction vendors.
Throughout all the upgrades, Worldport has remained a technological wonderland in which packages are smart enough to sort themselves in just 13 minutes over a network of 31,000 conveyors. Its brain knows exactly where each package is at all times and can process 59 million database transactions per hour.
Hard to get your head around all these colossal numbers? Think of it metaphorically – Worldport is basically a massive computer, like the one you use to access UPS.com to track a package or schedule a pickup. But instead of being a 10” x 12” laptop with an air card and thumb drive as peripherals, it measures 7.1 miles in perimeter and interfaces with 70 aircraft.
Darn, that was a little bombastic, wasn’t it?
|Tags:||logistics, Louisville, shipping, technology, Worldport|