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UPS Manages 25 Flights for FEMA’s Virus-Fighting ‘Project Airbridge’

UPS 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 U.S. hospitals in the fight against coronavirus, the company said Tuesday.

The first charter flights already arrived and will continue for the next two weeks. In total, the 25 UPS-managed flights will carry more than 3 million pounds of materials–the equivalent of 14 full Boeing 747 freighters. Cargo includes masks, surgical gowns, gloves, medical swabs and thermometers.

“UPS Healthcare and our full portfolio of services is providing a suite of highly choreographed logistics solutions in support of Project Airbridge,” UPS chairman and CEO David Abney said. “In addition to managing and brokering air freight flights, UPS is ramping up around-the-clock operations to provide receipt of PPE (personal protective equipment) 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 fight.”

UPS is providing air freight brokerage services on third-party aircraft, as well as on UPS-owned aircraft for Project Airbridge. Goods will be distributed at the direction of FEMA to hospitals and COVID-19 hot spots throughout the country.

At the same time, UPS Healthcare opened a new 450,000-square-foot healthcare distribution center on April 4, 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, Ken. With that proximity, UPS has the ability to quickly fulfill orders for delivery overnight anywhere in the U.S.

The UPS Supply Chain Solutions business unit offers transportation and freight services, logistics and distribution, consulting and customs brokerage services, and FEMA is taking advantage of almost every aspect of UPS Supply Chain Solutions’ capabilities, the company added.