The A300 contract had options to convert some A300's to a possible A330f or A380f.
The A300 was purchased when UPS bought Challenge Air Cargo. The demand for the 75 in Latin America was high at the moment. With the 721 and DC-8 retirements imminant. The A300 was in much need then. The A306 is a regional freighter. It doesn't have the range of the 763. International growth is quite higher than domestic.
As far as UPS copying Fed Ex, thats misinformation. UPS actually started aircargo service long before Fed Ex. UPS used scheduled passenger airlines until 1982. Fed Ex did use their own airplanes first. UPS was established before Fed Ex founder Fred Smith was even a twinkle in his parents eyes. No offense Fred
. Fed Ex had no ground until 1998's aquisition of Calibre/RPS. Fed Ex hush kitted their 721 fleet. UPS re-engined theirs and also updated avionics and installed HUD. Fed Ex only operated DC-8s breifly after the Tiger aquisition. UPS operates the largest fleet of DC-8s. Fed Ex operated the 747 for a short time. UPS at one time had over 20 74's in fleet.
ups launched the 75/76 freighters. Fed Ex never operated the type. Fed Ex uses DC-10's. UPS doesn't. UPS' A300 has been designed to haul one more can than the Fed Ex A300. Fed Ex operates a large 722 fleet. UPS operated I think only 5 which all have been sold. I could go on.
I'm still a skeptic as far as A380 performance but this order is needed for both UPS and Airbus.
As previously said UPS was to announce LRF plans in December. This was a hint.