Worldport Turns 10: Happy Birthday
UPS 757 at Worldport

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the official grand opening of the largest, fully-automated package handling facility in the world. Ten years ago, UPS employees, customers, board members and local, state and government officials gathered in Louisville, Kentucky for a press event to celebrate the facility’s grand opening and to be among the first to hear its new name: Worldport.

Today, Worldport handles about 130 aircraft daily and processes an average of 1.6 million packages a day, with a record 3.6 million packages processed on peak day in 2011. The facility measures 5.2 million square feet — the equivalent of more than 90 football fields — with a perimeter of 7.2 miles. It contains 155 miles of conveyors with the capacity for sorting 416,000 packages per hour.

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233 Pounds in 365 days: Video

Qannik weighed 67 pounds when UPS transported the orphaned five-month-old polar bear cub from Anchorage, Alaska, to Louisville a little more than a year ago. Today, the cub weighs 300 pounds and “is delighting guests far and wide,” said Louisville Zoo Media Relations Manager Kyle Shepherd.

“It was great to have UPS with us for Operation Snowflake,” Shepherd said. “People stop and watch the story of her journey on the flatscreens in the exhibit. Just a few minutes ago, I overheard a family talking about the ‘logistics’ of bringing her here. Then, for Qannik’s one-year anniversary at the zoo, we put together a 22-minute video, a commemorative story of her journey, including her trip with UPS.”

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Rescuing Stranded Packages: The Hot-Spares Program (Video)
UPS Hot Spares

UPS Airlines’ hot-spares program has rescued more than 730,000 packages so far this year.  That’s 730,000 potential service interruptions that our customers never saw.

 “UPS dedicates 11 aircraft and 11 flight crews to its hot-spare program Monday through Friday every week to protect packages destined for Next Day Air sorts,” said David Grant, the Flight Operations Contingency supervisor who oversees the hot-spares program. “The planes are geographically positioned at seven air gateways across the United States to allow the company to reach any domestic gateway to rescue volume stranded for various reasons, such as aircraft mechanical problems or volume overflow.”      

A typical hot-spare flight could rescue 10,000 to 20,000 packages, according to Grant.

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UPS Pilot Teaches Youth to Navigate Life
Ray Robinson

Today’s story is part of our month-long series on UPSers as Everyday Heroes.

UPS MD-11 First Officer Ray Robinson creates extraordinary aviation and life lessons for students.

This summer, I worked with the Aviation Career Education Academy (ACE) in Louisville, Ky., which is hosted by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP). That’s where I met Ray, who serves as the academy’s volunteer director. 

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