UPS introduces new flight from the U.S. to the Middle East

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UPS said earlier today that it will be rolling out a new daily, non-stop flight from its Louisville, Ky.-based Worldport global hub to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which will improve time-in-transit from North and South America to Middle Eastern-based destinations by a full business day.

This new flight, which UPS said is operating on a weekly basis, will start flying daily on February 27 and be in service Tuesday through Saturday. And UPS said the flight will be operated with one of the company’s new 747-8F freighters, adding that the flight is a facet of the company’s build out of its smart global logistics network, which moves 3% of global GDP per day and is concurrent with its role as the official logistics provider for Expo 2020 Dubai.

The flight’s route is 7,700 miles and is the longest regularly-scheduled UPS flight it has ever operated, and UPS said that the new 747-8 planes offer greater payload over long range. It begins and ends at the UPS Worldport facility. Volume originating from North and South America that passes through Dubai will see a full-day removed in transit times for flights to Dubai, UPS said. And upon arrival in Dubai, UPS said new package and freight volume is then loaded onboard the aircraft before going to the company’s largest facility in Asia in Shenzen, China. At that point, U.S.-bound volume is loaded in Shenzen, with the aircraft going back to Worldport via Anchorage, Alaska. What’s more, UPS said that with this new flight, volume capacity on UPS’s Cologne to Dubai flight rises and provides augmented service for customers connecting Europe to the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, and Africa.

“We focus investments for growth on strategic, emerging and high-growth markets,” a UPS spokesman told LM. “And we are investing in an important partnership in the region that this new around-the-world flight serves. That partnership takes the form as UPS acting as Official Logistics Partner for Expo 2020 Dubai. Helping Expo 2020 deliver on its vision will also be a growth catalyst for UPS’s network in the region. We will provide more than 27,000 square meters of warehouse space, equivalent to four soccer fields, and a team of 1,000 employees during the Expo. The team will rely on expertise as logistics sponsor in the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.”

The spokesman added that the need for this new flight was driven by the need for UPS to better serve its customers who are seeking the growth opportunities that trading internationally brings with it.

“This flight will improve time in transit by a full day for customers in North and South America shipping volume through Worldport. The flight also reduces capacity constraints on Europe to Middle East lane allowing the Europe region to offer additional capacity for their shippers,” the UPS spokesman said. “UPS’s International segment generated its 12th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in operating profit. We are investing in the network and seeing growth out of those investments. You can see that these expenditures, aircraft but also facilities, support continued customer demand. This, in turn, fuels profitable growth. “

Along with speeding up the UPS connect, and its customers’ connection to a global trade hotspot by a full day, it is also a considerable growth opportunity for U.S. exporters that want a piece of the high-growth action UPS is seeing in Dubai,  the UAE and the wider region where UPS is continuing to grow its presence.

“The new flight is part of plans to expand UPS’s presence in Dubai, the headquarters of UPS’s Indian Subcontinent Middle East and Africa (ISMEA) region, by establishing capacity, technology and staff capabilities to serve customers shipping to and through Dubai in the buildup to Expo 2020 and beyond,” the spokesman said. “The UPS has its Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa headquarters based in Dubai. It’s also not near the Jebel Al Ali Free Zone – it is actually in the Jebel Al Ali Free Zone. Jafza, as it is known, started out as a trading base 19 companies – there are now 7,000 businesses there from over 100 countries. The UAE is one of the top re-export markets in the world – the third largest re-export hub in the world after Hong Kong and Singapore.  Thousands of commodities worth billions of dollars come in through Dubai before being traded off to a variety of different countries. The prime geographical location that Dubai enjoys links buyers and sellers from Russia, Central Asia, Africa, and beyond. 

He also noted that Dubai also has great seaport access, favorable government regulations, tax-free environment, and trade embargoes on a number of surrounding countries that have helped establish the city (and the UAE as a whole) as the leading trade center in the region.

“Our reasoning for basing our ISMEA headquarters there is deliberate and very closely linked to the important position Dubai holds, a key global trade node in the expanding set of economic corridors connecting the world today,” he said.

Types of shippers that will benefit from the new flight, cited by the spokesman, include: Industrial Assemblies and Machinery; Medical Device & Supplies; High Tech Equipment and Devices; and the Automotive sector, especially those involved in parts manufacturing.

When asked what the biggest competitive advantages, or benefits, of this flight are, the spokesman cited capacity and efficiency.

“We are not retiring any aircraft in the UPS fleet,” he said. “This is new capacity, creating growth opportunities for customers, and career opportunities for our personnel. The advantages of and benefits of this flight fit into a wider strategy that further develops UPS’s smart global logistics network to the benefit of customers who wish to growth by seeing their goods cross borders efficiently and reliably. This new flight is using the largest aircraft UPS has ever flown and is part of a wider cascade effect for capacity that will serve UPS’s smart global logistics network. On the capacity front we will continue to see improvements as all 28 of the jumbo jets will be delivered by 2022, adding more than 8.5 million pounds of cargo capacity to the UPS global network of more than 580 owned and leased aircraft.”

UPS CEO David Abney said that the company plans to expand its presence in the UAE region by establishing capacity, technology and staff capabilities to serve customers shipping to and through Dubai, long after the Expo concludes.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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