Global logistics provider UPS has finished the expansion of its European air hub at Cologne/Bonn airport.

The $200m investment in new facilities is partly aimed at boosting its automotive logistics capabilities. The project has taken two years to construct and will become one of the company’s largest funding projects in its history.

UPS has experienced export success within Europe over the last years, with export volume steadily increasing across the decade.

Edelman’s Eimear Keller told Automotive Logistics: “UPS serves customers of all types that require that their critical goods or parts arrive at the right place, at the right time, and in the right condition. This certainly includes the automotive sector. The Cologne expansion is partially dedicated to processing larger freight shipments, and whether our automotive customers require small package or freight shipment, the facility expansion will help connect them to global markets.

“The expansion created an additional 200 jobs, cementing its position as the largest employer at the airport with more than 2,500 employees.”

Cindy Miller, president for UPS Europe, said: “With this upgrade, we now have the equivalent of 15 football fields of sorting space for a growing export economy on the move. All of this ensures that UPS’s Cologne/Bonn air hub remains the centrepiece of the company’s European express network, a key component of UPS’s global air operations, and one of the largest and most advanced sorting facilities in the world.”
The addition of eight automated sorters increases the hub’s package sorting capacity by 70% to 190,000 packages per hour, with the conveyor system now covering a distance of about 40km. A package now takes an average of 15 minutes to move through the hub from unload to load point.

The expansion equips the existing facility with additional technology and includes a building extension that is partially dedicated to processing larger express freight shipments. The Cologne/Bonn facility serves as an international logistics hub for both major multi-nationals as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe wishing to tap into UPS’s world-class trading network. 

 “Our strategic investment in Germany, one of the world’s top exporters, underscores our commitment to the European economy,” said Miller. “This is part of a long-term strategy to help our customers successfully compete and do business on the important trading lanes within Europe and linking Europe to North America and Asia in an era when free trade agreements on the horizon promise growth for companies large and small.”