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Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?  
User currently offlineLrgt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 710 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 8 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5973 times:

I always wondered why UPS, DHL, and FedEx use primary airports (i.e. BOS/JFK/EWR/PHL) verses secondary with large enough runways (PVD/TTN/ABE/etc.) ...Is there an easy answer for this?

I would assume that they would want an airport with not much traffic (both air and ground). Especially since they all operate day flights too for 2nd day packages.

.....ON A SIDE NOTE, does anyone know why many DHL station (origin/destination) codes are for small airports that they don't/can't even use?


Don't bring up the NW DC9's unless you have to!
40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5956 times:

Typically two things:

1. Location to the city.

2. An airport with the ramp space and Runway length sufficient for their operation.


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8090 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5957 times:

Well, given that most of their work is done in the wee hours of the morning and late at night, air traffic isn't a problem. Even daytime flights aren't a big deal. Keep in mind also that most of the buinesses and shipping companies are in bigger cities. For example, much more is going to be shipped out of Cleveland than Akron and everything in Akron is easily truckable to CLE.


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User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16689 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5931 times:

Quoting Lrgt (Thread starter):
I would assume that they would want an airport with not much traffic (both air and ground). Especially since they all operate day flights too for 2nd day packages.

First of all they want to be close to where their clients/packages are located, get the packages in the air and into their networks as quickly as possible.

Second they operate their peak hours of operations during the evening/early morning hours when congestion at airports like EWR, PHL etc is minimal. Most major airports have very few flights after 8 or 9 PM, just when the Fed Ex, UPS, ABX ramp up begins.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3963 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5925 times:

Closer to the markets where the mail/cargo is going.

Less noise ordinance problems.

More ramp space as well as more airport infrastructure.

Mail centers are located at large airports. These cargo companies, especially Fedex, do a massive amount of business with the USPS.


User currently offlineLrgt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 710 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5922 times:

I would suppose they are getting discounts and landing/ramp fees for their nightime ops?


Don't bring up the NW DC9's unless you have to!
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8090 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5901 times:

Quoting Lrgt (Reply 5):
I would suppose they are getting discounts and landing/ramp fees for their nightime ops?

I rather doubt it.



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineUPS Pilot From United States of America, joined May 1999, 871 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 6 days ago) and read 5685 times:

You have to factor in Pickup times, Later pickups are a selling point. With the airport being in a metro area this also allows for earlier delivery times. You have to have sufficient time to get the loads trucked to and from the airport within the time allowed. Most metro areas have an airport close, so an out of the way airport might not allow for the later pick up time or earlier delivery time. This is way UPS has a flight out of LAX and a hub in ONT. Traffic is a concern but not to the extent of ground accessibility for later pickup and earlier delivery. It was brought up that traffic tends to fall off around the time the sort takes place. This is true. Then you have landing fees and environmental concerns. A good example would be PIE for UPS. PIE is centrally located between Clearwater/ ST Pete. and Tampa markets. PIE has very little traffic and UPS operates 3 flights a day out of there. Fed Ex uses TPA. DHL uses both airports. I think Astar goes into PIE and ABX goes into TPA on behalf of DHL.

An example of a secondary airport that would not work would be SFB. To get loads to and from SFB from Orlando area would take at least an hour. With the unpredictable traffic along I-4 it would probably take longer. MCO is located a lot closer to the Orlando market which allows for the later pick up and earlier delivery times needed for the customer. Sure SFB might be cheaper but when the customer pays for an 8:30 am delivery with a money back guarantee, you better have a network that will get the package there by 8:30am.


User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4011 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 6 days ago) and read 5645 times:

Manchester (NH) sees two DC-10s and one A310 each and every day from FedEx, and two A300-600s and a 757 from UPS. There's nowhere near this kind of lift down at PVD, so you're right about that airport. Regardless of the airports in question, those that allow late night and early morning operations will be the ones the freight haulers will gravitate to. FedEx has a nice operation at MHT...plenty of room to park a few widebodies simultaneously.

An interesting side note is that the FedEx A310 that comes in from Indianapolis each evening continues down to Boston...a distance of 50 miles. We're wondering whether they even retract the gear  spin 

Chris in NH


User currently offlineDHLSAN From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 136 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5526 times:

Quoting Lrgt (Thread starter):
.....ON A SIDE NOTE, does anyone know why many DHL station (origin/destination) codes are for small airports that they don't/can't even use?

Simply for routing in cities with multiple stations or to know which belt to go down. Like in San Diego we had SAN and CLD. Doesn't matter anymore since DHL has gone to Airborne's routing system. We have 3 stations in San Diego.



Yellow?
User currently offlineDHLSAN From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 136 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5483 times:

Also I think we have 6 different routing codes now for San Diego, so UPS and FEDEX must have at least double ours.


Yellow?
User currently offlineTsnamm From United States of America, joined May 2005, 624 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5424 times:

DHL does a lot of business with IAC's (indirect air carriers)/freight forwarders, as well as route shipments with other carriers...so they keep their operations as major airports...e.g. JFK, where these companies are most likely to be located.

User currently offlineMeister808 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 973 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5410 times:

I think it is worth mentioning that the main DHL/ABX hub for the US is at a private field owned by the company... that's nowhere near a primary airport.

-Meister



Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2220 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5335 times:
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Major airports have few curfews and noise restrictions and I'd bet thats the key.


Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineTeva From France, joined Jan 2001, 1869 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5299 times:

Tsnamm said it for DHL but it is true for the otehrs. Large amount of express shipments make a part of their trip in the bellies of passenger airlines, when it is not economical to fly their own aircraft.
They also work with freight agents, to carry traditional freight when the express doesn't take all the space on board their aircraft.
As a result, you have to be at large airports.
Teva



Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5065 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5206 times:

Depends on the shipments, timing, etc. UPS does have a large operation at RFD, but most of the volume there is for non-overnight packages. Overnight deliveries for the Chicago Loop will go into ORD.

FedEx's sorting center for the western suburbs of Chicago is in Hillside, which is a 10 to 15 minute drive from the cargo entrance at ORD.


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5199 times:

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 15):
FedEx's sorting center for the western suburbs of Chicago is in Hillside, which is a 10 to 15 minute drive from the cargo entrance at ORD.

Yep, and Airborne/DHL's sorting center is in Franklin Park, and basically butts up against, but is not part of, ORD property. UPS also has a large operation in Hodgkins, which is about 15 miles away from ORD. It's actually closer to MDW.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2015 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5191 times:

You also have to remember that not all FexEx packages travel on FedEx metal. Packages from smaller towns arrive in airliner belly cargo and are transfered to FedEx planes for their flight to Memphis. Also, some packages are routed directly between cities on scheduled airline flights. This makes it more convenient to be at a major airport. Also, at other than a half dozen or so airports, the runways are not so overcrowded that express cargo planes are delayed by congestion at the time they usually depart in the evening.

User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5166 times:

Quoting Lrgt (Thread starter):
ABE/etc.)

ABE is rather significant for Airborne/DHL, we even receive a DC-8.

It is unusual to not see a few Fed Ex planes parked during the day at ABE as well, typically 727's.


User currently offlineUPSMD11 From United States of America, joined May 2003, 803 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5122 times:
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The UPS facility at RFD is most certainly for overnight packages. The packages that fly through RFD are those that come from the region. RFD is a regional air hub for UPS like PHL, CAE, DFW and ONT. If you have a package going from DSM - MSP it will probably go through RFD instead of SDF, the main all-points hub.

John


User currently offlineAviationwiz From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 959 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5092 times:

Quoting UPSMD11 (Reply 19):
If you have a package going from DSM - MSP it will probably go through RFD...

Actually, in that situation, it would more than likely be trucked up for Next Day delivery, since DSM-MSP Ground packages is at 1 day transit time.



Proudly from the Home of the Red Tail.
User currently offlineFedexexpress From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 284 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5002 times:

IND is a huge Fedex Hub!! I work there on the "night Shift" and we send that Manchester, New hampshire flight there then its off to Boston then back to IND!!! For another go around. I jumpseated on that flight!! Eric


"Its not what your country can do for you its what you can do for your country" JFK
User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4984 times:

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 4):
Less noise ordinance problems.

This is a HUGE issue for most carriers! I know FedEx has been looking at locations all over the eastern seaboard for expanding hub operations, especially at GSO. But, many of those airports have strict noise regulations that would be smashed by the 11pm-5am operating hours of the company...during the one time frame that most people complain about. The larger airports offer locations that have already been time-tested for heavy traffic and therefore have fewer regulations.

Also, as several others have already said, the larger airports are usually within very close proximity to the vital roadways of a city. A remote field might be larger and suitable for the operations, but it may require much more time to transport the cargo out to feeder sites. Time being the one thing these carriers can't compromise.

However, FedEx, and I can only speak for them, has been actively looking at other locations, especially on the coasts, for another permanent hub operation, much like IND. The local economy would surely benefit from it, but would also put up the strongest fight against it. But, with FedEx still growing like it is, another airport with less congestion in the airspace would reduce a lot of time for the massive influx of flights that it has every night.

Man...I seem to be discussing FedEx a lot tonight! Maybe I should change my screen name.  Big grin

Cheers!



Crye me a river
User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4011 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4974 times:

Quoting Fedexexpress (Reply 21):
IND is a huge Fedex Hub!! I work there on the "night Shift" and we send that Manchester, New hampshire flight there then its off to Boston then back to IND!!! For another go around. I jumpseated on that flight!! Eric

Dude! Inquiring minds want to know: did they even retract the gear on that A310 when it flew from Manchester down to Boston? What was the flying time...like nine minutes?? LOL

Chris in NH


User currently offlineFedexexpress From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 284 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 2 hours ago) and read 4864 times:

Fedex is adding 12 more gates south of the existing gates for additional aircraft on the night shift!!! Fedex likes IND. MEM is land locked and they say that IND will get all the extra traffic.. They want IND to be the biggest some day. It is the 2nd largest hub for Fedex in the world right now. Eric


"Its not what your country can do for you its what you can do for your country" JFK
25 BrowntailWhale : Hate to break the bad news to you Tornado82, but DHL is pulling out of ABE completely in a few weeks. A buddy of mine that flies for ABX flew a DC8 i
26 Post contains links Blackearth : I think your statements have already been addressed: RE: Fed Ex Expansion. (by MEMbase Aug 13 2005 in Civil Aviation)
27 BOSPMV : as mentioned, location to the city. In the case of BOS, they would be idiots if they went into PVD which is 50 miles south of BOS, add in the fact th
28 Post contains images Tornado82 : Dang... now that we're back to sleeping-with-windows-open weather I won't get to hear that 3am flight anymore. Most people would b*tch, but music to
29 Post contains images Warszawa : There is no airline in the USA hauling Fedex Express packages - nor does Fedex use any airline to haul fedex packages. Which therefore means...no fed
30 PanHAM : Wonder that nobody mentioned that UPS uses Boeing Field in SEA and Ellington Field in HOU. Another exception from the rule is Mather Field in Sacramen
31 Warszawa : UPS uses IAH, not EFD or HOU. Thats true, Fedex serves these airports (UPS serves SMF, though they also serve SJC and OAK), though they're not using
32 BrowntailWhale : Then how do you explain away the Gemini MD-11 that's on the FedEx ramp in MEM every night?
33 B744F : FDX could be leasing that Gemini bird
34 Usnseallt82 : Not true at all. FedEx has used space on NW flights several times over to Asia when there wasn't enough to fill another FedEx bird. There are mainstr
35 Squad55 : Apparently DHL uses Air Canada Cargo for all domestic pkg operations. Does anyone know how DHL sends pkgs internationally from Canada?
36 PanHAM : Couple of years ago they served EFD, any idea when they moved to IAH?
37 Warszawa : As I said...In the USA (meaning within the USA). All carriers (UPS/DHL/Fedex) have contracted international cargo operations. DHL especially. As B744
38 Post contains images Usnseallt82 : It actually does happen domestically. FedEx has used airlines such as NW, AA, and DL to transfer overflow loads to different locations when an entire
39 MEMbase : Correct. This is a wet leased a/c.
40 Lt-AWACS : IIRC it was when the new cargo facility opened at IAH. Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns, Capt-AWACS, King of Belize, Viceroy of Texas, Protector of the Faith
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