Overview Worldport a technological marvel -- the largest automated package handling facility in the world, and the center point of UPS’s worldwide air network. More than 300 flights arrive and depart daily, and the hub processes roughly two million packages a day, increasing to more than four million during the December peak holiday shopping season. Worldport history Beginning in 1999, UPS undertook the largest capital project in the company’s history with the $1 billion expansion of its sort facility at Louisville International Airport. The expansion more than doubled the size of the air hub and increased sort capacity from 215,000 packages per hour to 304,000. Dubbed Worldport upon its 2002 completion, the facility initially grew from about 2 million square feet to 4 million. By 2006, UPS needed to again expand Worldport. In a two-phase project, the company expanded its all-points air hub by 37 percent to 416,000 packages per hour. The second expansion was completed in April 2010, with the mammoth facility now measuring 5.2 million square feet, with a perimeter of 7.2 miles. Looking to future possibilities, the facility’s design allows for further expansion to process up to a half million packages per hour.
Here are some of the Features noted for the tour:
• High-speed conveyors and “smart labels” read by overhead cameras facilitate the processing of documents, small packages and irregular-sized shipments.
• Automated equipment and overall process improvements reduce the amount of time employees spend lifting and lowering packages while reducing the average package cycle-sorting span.
• IT systems rapidly transmit Customs information to expedite the movement of international shipments.
• Specially-designed docks and hub floors let workers move package containers easily from one area of the building to another via more than 1.2 million casters and ball transfer units.
• Worldport includes five load/unload “wings” and associated aircraft staging ramps. Additional ramp space accommodates 747-400 cargo planes.
• UPS also approved plans to build a new vehicle loading facility for its ground delivery network serving Louisville.
• With both the initial project and later expansion, UPS exceeded its goal to award at least 20 percent of the latest expansion project’s general construction and site work budget to minority- and women-owned businesses.
• Metropolitan College will continue to play a major role in helping attract and maintain employees for the expanded hub.
Box lunch will be provided