UPS said this week that it has begun operating flights into Chengdu, China as part of an effort to expand its connections between Asia, Europe, and the United States.
Company officials said this MD-11 “around-the-world” flight will originate in UPS’s European hub in Cologne, Germany, and stop in Warsaw before transiting Chengdu’s Shuangliu International Airport, China’s sixth largest cargo and passenger facility. From Chengdu, it then will head to UPS’s Asia hub in Shanghai.
“This new flight provides express services to Europe and the Americas from this rapidly emerging center of technology and manufacturing,” said UPS CEO Scott Davis on the company’s second quarter earnings call yesterday.
Davis added that last year UPS last year strengthened its presence in Asia by opening its Shenzhen facility. He said that since this hub opened, UPS has significantly improved time in transit for more than 100 intra-Asia lanes, enhancing service levels for UPS customers in key business centers like Beijing, New Delhi, Mumbai, and Seoul.
UPS International President Dan Brutto said in a statement that China’s “Go West” program is making it attractive for companies to move production facilities to inland cities like Chengdu, which he said is “poised for accelerated growth in express shipping.
UPS said that the GDP in Chengdu, the capital of China’s western Sichuan province, has grown rapidly, up approximately 15 percent each of the past two years with retail sales up abut 19 percent in 2010. Foreign trade in Chengdu rose 36 percent in 2010 to $32.78 billion. The Chinese government declared the area an export processing zone in December 2010, added UPS.
The UPS Chengdu will connect Europe and Asia with a total of 24 weekly flights. UPS serves 330 cities in China and operates 200 weekly flights connecting China to markets around the world.