What does Brown do for Bluegrass? UPS makes Louisville a major logistics hub and a key component in Kentucky’s extensive transportation infrastructure.
The shipping giant operates the UPS Worldport, a 5.2 million-square-foot facility, adjacent to Louisville’s airport. Opened in September 2000 and expanded in 2006, it is the largest distribution hub in the UPS network, third-busiest air cargo hub domestically and the 10th largest worldwide.
Mark Giuffre, director for state government affairs for UPS Worldport, spoke to a gathering of economic development professionals at the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED) annual conference in Paducah, KY.
The decision to place the massive operation in Louisville included such factors as climate, proximity to universities, available labor force and a site location that would allow for growth and expansion.
From its beginnings with 150 employees and projected growth of up to 1,500 employees, Worldport has mushroomed into an economic colossus employing 20,000 workers and delivering a $668 million economic impact.
Giuffre notes that outside the direct impact on the surrounding area, another positive byproduct of the decision to locate in Louisville is the 141 companies that have followed UPS to its supply chain campus, representing an additional $600 million investment and 10,000 jobs. Major distribution retailers including amazon.com and Zappos Shoes have set up distribution operations in the region in large part because of the Worldport’s presence.
The operation currently serves 220 countries, turns over 130 aircraft daily, processing an average of 1.5 million packages a day with a record 2.9 million packages processed on Peak Day 2010.
In addition to investing further in the Worldport facility, UPS is also committed to global growth, which began with its international hub in Cologne, Germany in 1986 and has continued with new hubs in growing economies including Shanghai and Chengdu, China.
Global growth potential is substantial, says Giuffre, since “every minute 174 customers join the world economy.”
This post was contributed by Clay Perry, senior integrated media manager at Journal Communications