FEMA'S 'Project Airbridge' takes flight with 25 UPS charter flights, and a dedicated FEMA distribution centre

UPS-managed Project Airbridge flights delivering more than 1.35MM kg of materials including masks, surgical gowns, gloves, medical swabs, and thermometers to high-demand areas in the US healthcare system.

A line of cargo containers with critical healthcare goods inside.

Atlanta, GA

  • UPS managing and brokering 25 flights over the next two weeks
  • UPS-managed Project Airbridge flights delivering more than 1.35 million kilograms of materials including masks, surgical gowns, gloves, medical swabs and thermometers to high-demand areas in the US healthcare system
  • Shipments originating from China, Malaysia, and Honduras, among other countries
  • UPS opening new 450,000 square-foot UPS Healthcare facility in Louisville with dedicated space for FEMA
  • UPS managing 24/7 operation of receipt and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), on behalf of FEMA

UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced that the company is managing and brokering 25 charter flights in support of Project Airbridge, a coordinated effort between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), numerous countries and the private sector designed to expedite the arrival of critical supplies needed in US hospitals.

In a news conference from the White House Rose Garden on 29 March, President Trump said, "FEMA is working with these companies to launch Project Airbridge to expedite the movement of critical supplies from other countries to the United States."

"UPS Healthcare, and our full portfolio of services, is providing a suite of highly-choreographed logistics solutions in support of Project Airbridge," said UPS Chairman and CEO, David Abney. "In addition to managing and brokering air freight flights, UPS is ramping up around-the-clock operations to provide receipt of personal protective equipment (PPE) and kitting for distribution to hospitals and hot spots around the country. We are bringing the full power of our integrated global logistics network to bear to assist FEMA in the pandemic."

The first charter flights have already arrived, and will continue for the next two weeks. In total, the 25 UPS-managed flights will carry more than 1.35 million kilograms of materials – the equivalent of 14 full Boeing 747 freighters. The cargo includes masks, surgical gowns, gloves, medical swabs and thermometers.

Led by FEMA and the White House Coronavirus Taskforce, Project Airbridge is a partnership between UPS and large US healthcare distributors, including Cardinal Health and others, and the US federal government. UPS is providing air freight brokerage services on third-party aircraft, as well as on UPS-owned aircraft. The goods will be distributed on behalf of FEMA, to hospitals and COVID-19 hot spots throughout the country.

Simultaneously, the UPS Healthcare division opened a new 450,000 square-foot healthcare distribution centre on 4 April, with dedicated space for FEMA. The facility is located just a few miles from UPS Worldport, the company's automated global air hub, in Louisville, KY. With that proximity, UPS has the ability to quickly fulfil orders for delivery overnight, anywhere in the US.

The UPS Supply Chain Solutions business unit offers transportation and freight services, logistics and distribution, consulting, and customs brokerage services – and FEMA is making use of almost every aspect of UPS Supply Chain Solutions' capabilities.

About UPS Healthcare

UPS Healthcare delivers unparalleled healthcare logistics expertise to its customers around the world. UPS Healthcare has 11+ million square feet of cGMP and GDP-compliant healthcare distribution space globally. Its services include inventory management, cold chain packaging and shipping, storage and fulfilment of medical devices, and lab and clinical trial logistics. UPS Healthcare's global infrastructure, its UPS® Premier visibility service, its track and trace technology, and its global quality system are well-suited to meeting today's complex logistics demands for the pharmaceutical, medical device, and laboratory diagnostic industries.

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