The inaugural UPS flight to China departed Sunday, as the courier company attempts to carve a presence in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.
UPS’s flight to Beijing and Shanghai departed just two months after the United States Department of Transportation awarded the company the highly sought-after rights to operate direct air service from the U.S. to China. The company will now operate six UPS Boeing 747 flights a week between the United States and China. Four flights will originate in Ontario, and two will depart from Newark, N.J. The UPS Boeing 747 aircraft has a payload of 240,000 pounds. The direct-to-China service is projected to add approximately $100 million in revenues for UPS in its first full year of operation.
UPS plans to deliver to every address in the People’s Republic of China by year’s end.
“With these new flights, UPS will offer the broadest portfolio of services to customers shipping to and from China,” said Jim Kelly, chairman and CEO of UPS. “This first flight is an important event not just for UPS, but for worldwide trade as a whole. This is the first time ever that a U.S. cargo carrier will fly directly from the United States to China. We believe this designation is a sign of the growing importance of global trade and UPS’s place in the new global marketplace.”
Prior to being awarded direct air rights, UPS served China through Hong Kong. The company has been operating in China since 1988 through its partner Sinotrans. UPS China continues to experience rapid growth in that market with export volume in 2000 increasing by more than 45 percent over the previous year.
“UPS expects continued strong and robust growth in China,” added Kelly. “We take a long-term approach to any expansion and believe the opportunity in China is great enough to overcome any business cycle.”
Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS is the world’s largest express carrier and package delivery company, serving more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. In 2000, the company reported annual revenues of $29.8 billion on an average volume of 13.6 million packages and documents per day.