UPS Worldport Facts

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UPS Worldport Facts

Worldport a technological marvel -- the largest automated package handling facility in the world, and the center point of UPS’s worldwide air network. More than 300 flights arrive and depart daily, and the hub processes roughly two million packages a day, increasing to more than four million during the December peak holiday shipping season.


Worldport history
Beginning in 1999, UPS undertook the largest capital project in the company’s history with the $1 billion expansion of its sort facility at Louisville International Airport. The expansion more than doubled the size of the air hub and increased sort capacity from 215,000 packages per hour to 304,000. Dubbed Worldport upon its 2002 completion, the facility initially grew from about 2 million square feet to 4 million.

By 2006, UPS needed to again expand Worldport. In a two-phase project, the company expanded its all-points air hub by 37 percent to 416,000 packages per hour. The second expansion was completed in April 2010, with the mammoth facility now measuring 5.2 million square feet, with a perimeter of 7.2 miles.

Looking to future possibilities, the facility’s design allows for further expansion to process up to a half million packages per hour.


September 1982

UPS Next Day Air® service initiated



April 1999

Expansion of Louisville air hub begins, driven by strong growth in international and domestic express business; the project is dubbed Hub 2000.



September 2000

The first of three phases of the expansion opens, increasing sort capacity by 30,000 packages per hour. New automated processes and education programs help to lower employee turnover and retraining costs while increasing overall productivity.



July 2001

Second phase opens, adding another 30,000 packages per hour to the facility’s sort capacity.



September 2002

The third and final phase opens, increasing sort capacity by 29,000 packages per hour.



May 2006

UPS announces plans for a new expansion that will increase Worldport’s sort capacity by 37 percent – to 416,000 packages per hour. Phases 1 and 2 of the expansion are scheduled for completion by May 2010.



July 2009

UPS opens the first phase of the expansion project, increasing sort capacity to 350,000 packages per hour.



April 2010

UPS completes Worldport expansion, increasing sort capacity to 416,000 packages per hour.



November 2014

A 900-position feeder staging yard opens west of the airport’s main runways.



November 2015

The addition of 45 new feeder unload doors to Worldport’s wings allows for added flexibility in handling inbound package volume.

Worldport Features

  • High-speed conveyors and “smart labels” read by overhead cameras facilitate the processing of documents, small packages and irregular-sized shipments.
  • Automated equipment and overall process improvements reduce the amount of time employees spend lifting and lowering packages while reducing the average package cycle-sorting span.
  • IT systems rapidly transmit Customs information to expedite the movement of international shipments.
  • Specially-designed docks and hub floors let workers move package containers easily from one area of the building to another via more than 1.2 million casters and ball transfer units.
  • Worldport includes five load/unload “wings” and associated aircraft staging ramps. Additional ramp space accommodates 747-400 cargo planes.
  • UPS also approved plans to build a new vehicle loading facility for its ground delivery network serving Louisville.
  • With both the initial project and later expansion, UPS exceeded its goal to award at least 20 percent of the latest expansion project’s general construction and site work budget to minority- and women-owned businesses.
  • Metropolitan College will continue to play a major role in helping attract and maintain employees for the expanded hub.

Worldport Statistics

Building area:

5,200,000 square feet (90 football fields)

Sort Capacity:

350,000 packages per hour (Phase 1)
416,000 packages per hour (Phase 2)

Processing Time:

Parcel = 8 - 43 min


Smalls Sort = 11 - 16 min


Incompatibles = 12 - 45 min

Capital Investment:

$2.4 billion (total including Worldport Freight Facility)

Economic Impact:

$600 million+ in construction costs

Aircraft Parking

125 ramp parking positions

Number of Conveyors:


Miles of Conveyors:


Camera Tunnels:


Tilt Tray Sorters:

19 loops totalling 2.6 miles of track

Feeder Movements:

672 in and out /day

Tilt Trays:


Unload Positions:


Load Positions:



For more information about this factsheet, contact:

UPS Media Relations