April 09, 2020: UPS will be 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. The first charter flights have already arrived, and will continue for the next two weeks. In total, the UPS-managed flights will carry more than three million pounds of materials – the equivalent of 14 full B747Fs. Cargo will include masks, surgical gowns, gloves, medical swabs, and thermometers.

Even UPS’s Healthcare division opened a new 450,000 square-foot healthcare distribution centre on April 4, with dedicated space for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The facility is located just a few miles from UPS Worldport, the company’s automated global air hub, in Louisville, Kentucky. With that proximity, UPS has the ability to quickly fulfill orders for delivery overnight, anywhere in the US.

“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 the receipt of 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 fight.”

In a news conference from the White House Rose Garden on March 29, US president Donald 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.”

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. Goods will be distributed at the direction of FEMA to hospitals and Covid-19 hot spots throughout the country.

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