LRGT
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Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:30 am

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?
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Boeing7E7
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:33 am

Typically two things:

1. Location to the city.

2. An airport with the ramp space and Runway length sufficient for their operation.
 
N766UA
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:34 am

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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STT757
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:43 am

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.
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HPRamper
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:47 am

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.
 
LRGT
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:47 am

I would suppose they are getting discounts and landing/ramp fees for their nightime ops?
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N766UA
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:53 am

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

I rather doubt it.
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UPS Pilot
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:11 am

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.
 
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chrisnh
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:39 am

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
 
DHLSAN
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:23 am

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.
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DHLSAN
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:03 pm

Also I think we have 6 different routing codes now for San Diego, so UPS and FEDEX must have at least double ours.
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tsnamm
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:03 pm

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.
 
meister808
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:13 pm

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.

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m404
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:04 pm

Major airports have few curfews and noise restrictions and I'd bet thats the key.
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teva
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:17 pm

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.
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ckfred
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:19 am

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.
 
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N328KF
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:24 am

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.
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AADC10
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:27 am

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.
 
Tornado82
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:36 am

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.
 
upsmd11
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:04 am

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.

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aviationwiz
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:35 am

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.
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fedexexpress
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:02 am

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
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usnseallt82
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:22 am

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!
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chrisnh
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:29 am

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
 
fedexexpress
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:02 am

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
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BrowntailWhale
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:12 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 18):
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.

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 in there last week and there were a couple of flat bed trucks loading up the extra belt loaders, tugs, dollies, etc. The will have just enough left to service the flights till they finally pull out.
 
blackearth
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:17 am

Quoting Fedexexpress (Reply 24):
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

I think your statements have already been addressed:
RE: Fed Ex Expansion. (by MEMbase Aug 13 2005 in Civil Aviation)
 
BOSPMV
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:52 am

Quoting Lrgt (Thread starter):
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?

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 that BOS is only 2.5 miles from downtown and is much closer to the mass handling centers, it makes sense.
 
Tornado82
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:13 pm

Quoting BrowntailWhale (Reply 25):

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 in there last week and there were a couple of flat bed trucks loading up the extra belt loaders, tugs, dollies, etc. The will have just enough left to service the flights till they finally pull out.

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 my ears.  Smile Are they moving to PHL, or what's the scoop? My buddy's dad is a boss for them in ops out at ILN, I'll have to ask him at our fantasy football draft next weekend. At least Fed Ex keeps a few 727's here during the day the last few times I've flown and the wind put us down on that end for take off.
 
warszawa
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:17 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 17):
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.

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 fedex packages are transferred (on any airline), for example, from Northwest Airlines in MEM, to Fedex Express.

As far as smaller towns - thats what Fedex Feeder was developed for. Sub-Contracted air cargo carriers such as Mountain-Air Cargo, Wiggins Airways, and so on.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 17):
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.

Runways are not really crowded after 10-11+pm to begin with...even at major airports such as JFK, LAX, etc. Nothing compared to daytime operations. Besides, even if a minor 10-20 minute ground delay occured because of traffic, it would have no effect on Fedex, DHL, or UPS (from a financial standpoint and parcel delivery standpoint).

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 23):
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??

They definitely retracted the gear (standard procedure after takeoff). Having it extended...even for a 40nm flight causes quite a bit of drag  Wink

For about a 40nm flight...i'd venture a guess that the actual Air-Time was probably 10-15 minutes, but the total flight time (from engine start till engine stop) was probably 30-40 minutes. They probably cruised at 5000 feet for such distance, then descended to 3000 for approach.
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PanHAM
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:45 pm

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 Sacramento and Alliance airport north of Ft Worth for Fedex.

There are fomer Military bases used by UPS and Fedex in the Philippines and Liege Belgium is a TNT hub without much other traffic around.
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warszawa
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:27 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 30):
Wonder that nobody mentioned that UPS uses Boeing Field in SEA and Ellington Field in HOU

UPS uses IAH, not EFD or HOU.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 30):
Another exception from the rule is Mather Field in Sacramento and Alliance airport north of Ft Worth for Fedex.

Thats true, Fedex serves these airports (UPS serves SMF, though they also serve SJC and OAK), though they're not using them to replace service to major airports. Fedex serves SMF, SJC, SFO, though they have a hub in OAK. Fedex serves AFW (Ft. Worth Alliance), though they still use DFW.
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BrowntailWhale
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:59 am

Quoting Warszawa (Reply 29):
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 fedex packages are transferred (on any airline), for example, from Northwest Airlines in MEM, to Fedex Express.

Then how do you explain away the Gemini MD-11 that's on the FedEx ramp in MEM every night?
 
B744F
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:58 am

FDX could be leasing that Gemini bird
 
usnseallt82
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:06 am

Quoting Warszawa (Reply 29):
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 fedex packages are transferred (on any airline), for example, from Northwest Airlines in MEM, to Fedex Express.

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 mainstream flights that are pretty consistent, but when several more loads appear, FedEx has used other airlines to transfer the shipments. I know this because I used to work for them and sent several outbound shipments through NW and AA to locations that didn't require an entire FedEx aircraft. It doesn't happen all too often, but it does happen nonetheless.

Also, you'll see FedEx Ground using other carriers in extreme circumstances to transfer shipments that have a time priority on them that normal ground operations cannot accommodate. This happens every now and then as well.
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squad55
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:56 am

Apparently DHL uses Air Canada Cargo for all domestic pkg operations. Does anyone know how DHL sends pkgs internationally from Canada?
 
PanHAM
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:03 am

Quoting Warszawa (Reply 31):

UPS uses IAH, not EFD or HOU.

Couple of years ago they served EFD, any idea when they moved to IAH?
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warszawa
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:47 am

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 34):
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.

As I said...In the USA (meaning within the USA). All carriers (UPS/DHL/Fedex) have contracted international cargo operations. DHL especially.

Quoting BrowntailWhale (Reply 32):
Then how do you explain away the Gemini MD-11 that's on the FedEx ramp in MEM every night?

As B744F said...could be leasing it. Or, its for international haul. What I meant by "Airline" is Passenger Airlines, such as Northwest, Delta, etc. hauling packages within the United States.
Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'
 
usnseallt82
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:10 am

Quoting Warszawa (Reply 37):
What I meant by "Airline" is Passenger Airlines, such as Northwest, Delta, etc. hauling packages within the United States.

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 FedEx aircraft isn't necessary, just as I said before. It is pretty rare, as the FedEx fleet is more than capable of handling everything it has, but every now and then a small load comes up that must get outbound and isn't large enough to warrant the cost of an entire aircraft. It happens.

Of course, I can only speak for FedEx and cannot say anything to UPS and DHL, but I would imagine that they have had their occurrences as well.

Cheers!  Big grin
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membase
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:12 am

Quoting B744F (Reply 33):
FDX could be leasing that Gemini bird

Correct. This is a wet leased a/c.
 
Lt-AWACS
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RE: Why UPS/DHL/FedEX Use Primary Airports?

Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:17 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 36):
Quoting Warszawa (Reply 31):

UPS uses IAH, not EFD or HOU.

Couple of years ago they served EFD, any idea when they moved to IAH?

IIRC it was when the new cargo facility opened at IAH.


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