Category Archives: UPS Airlines

UPS partners with McKesson to transport and deliver the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

UPS has made this announcement:

UPS continues its involvement with COVID-19 vaccine delivery efforts through a partnership with global pharmaceutical and medical supply distributor McKesson. Through contracts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to support Operation Warp Speed, McKesson is the centralized distributor for non-ultra-frozen COVID-19 vaccines and ancillary supply kits. Under its agreement with McKesson, UPS will begin delivering Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, which today received a U.S. Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization.

“This is a critically important initiative for UPS, and we are committed to delivering what matters for as long as it takes,” says Carol Tomé, CEO of UPS. “McKesson is a valued UPS Healthcare partner, and we will continue to leverage the strength of our network to safely and efficiently get these life-saving vaccines and supplies to their final destination.”

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is the second in the U.S. to be deployed in a months-long global race to develop safe treatments against the spread of the virus.

“This is a historic logistics feat and UPS Healthcare is honored to play a role in this effort,” says Wes Wheeler, president of UPS Healthcare. “Our mantra is ‘Quality Focused. Patient Driven’ and we know that at the end of each vaccine journey is a patient seeking hope and relief from this pandemic. We take our pivotal role in this ongoing campaign seriously.”

About UPS Healthcare

UPS Healthcare has more than 10 million square feet of cGMP- or cGDP-compliant healthcare distribution space globally. UPS Healthcare services include: inventory management, temperature-controlled packaging and shipping, storage and fulfillment of medical devices, labs and clinical trial logistics. UPS Healthcare’s global infrastructure, its newest UPS Premier visibility service, its track and trace technology, and its global quality system are well-suited to meet today’s complex logistics demands for the pharmaceutical, medical device and laboratory diagnostic industries.

UPS Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

UPS Airlines aircraft slide show:

UPS brings the first COVID-19 vaccine flight to the Louisville hub

UPS Airlines made this announcement on social media:

The first flight of COVID-19 vaccines has landed at our Worldport facility, where they will be sorted and distributed as early as tomorrow. We’re proud to support our healthcare partners with smart, efficient logistics to deliver what matters most.

UPS is ready for seasonal deliveries including vaccines

UPS Airlines will be a major transporter of the newly approved vaccine by Pfizer, especially from Portage, MI (south of Kalamazoo) in the eastern United States.

UPS issued this report on holiday shipments including the vaccines:

Atlanta, GA

Network running smoothly, with industry-leading on-time delivery performance

UPS continues to deliver on customer expectations and the company’s network is running smoothly through the first two weeks of December.

“UPS is running one of the most successful peak holiday shipping seasons ever,” said UPS CEO Carol Tomé. “With great discipline and precision, we are delivering industry-leading on-time delivery performance – all part of our focus on ensuring we maintain a reliable delivery network that all of our customers can depend on. A huge thank you goes to each of our UPS frontline heroes, who are the heartbeat of our company. Because of them, we also stand ready to begin delivering vaccines as soon as they are available for distribution.”

On-Time Delivery Performance

UPS does not publicly report its own on-time delivery information. The most recently available information from ShipMatrix has shown UPS leading the industry:

  • For Oct 1 thru 31:  FedEx at 96%, UPS at 97.9% and USPS at 95.8%
  • For Nov 1 thru 14: FedEx at 96.5%, UPS at 97.3% and USPS at 96.6%
  • For Nov 15 to 21: FedEx at 96.6%, UPS at 96.9%, and USPS at 95.4%
  • For Nov 22 to Dec 5: FedEx was at 94.9%, UPS at 96.3 percent, and USPS at 92.8%.

UPS Planning, Preparation and Investments Have Made All the Difference

The company’s ability to control and manage peak surges in volume is a direct result of the following:

Collaboration:  UPS works closely with our customers to align volume with capacity during the holidays and throughout the year; this collaboration has been particularly strong this year.

CapacityUPS has invested in its physical network as well as in our people – those efforts have allowed the company to fine-tune capacity and delivery, and align it with our customers’ needs.

o   Hired approximately 100,000 seasonal employees

o   Hired 39,000 permanent, new employees between April and June.

o   Built 20 new facilities and brought on 14 additional aircraft for the peak season (in addition to the approximately 500 owned and leased aircraft in the company’s global fleet).

o   Expanded our weekend operations; only carrier to provide both commercial and residential pickup and delivery on Saturdays.

o   Significantly improved the speed of our ground delivery network – UPS is now at parity or faster than FedEx in 22 of the 25 most populated areas of the U.S.

ControlWe are closely managing the package volume that we take into our network, not only through close and continuous collaboration with our customers, but also by making use of advanced technologies and tools:

o   Our technology tools control package flow on critical days when volume is high, and provide visibility into specific delivery windows when there is more available capacity.

Preparing to Deliver Vaccines

UPS is proud to be a key player in the global public-private partnerships preparing to distribute vaccines to the world. We have significant knowledge and extensive expertise to meet the needs and demands of our customers for testing kit and vaccine distribution. Together with other critical players in these supply chains, we are ready to deliver what matters most. UPS is preparing highly orchestrated logistics and distribution services to support global lifesaving operations.

Why UPS Healthcare is Uniquely Ready

UPS is uniquely equipped to deliver sterile and temperature sensitive healthcare products. For more than 15 years, and under our newly organized UPS Healthcare division, UPS has been methodically building its expertise and capabilities in this highly specialized area of logistics.

Years ago, UPS recognized the need for these complex services. We made it our mission to bring the size and scale of our operations, combined with more than 113 years of experience, to the table in ways that few others can. This is a moment like no other, and it demands the expertise that UPS has developed in Healthcare Logistics. We have significant experience with distributing other vaccines, an unparalleled GMP facility footprint, clinical trials expertise through the company’s Marken subsidiary, a sophisticated real-time package tracking capability called UPS Premier, dedicated freezer farms and cold chain experience, an intricate Quality System, and growing experience in home healthcare and Direct to Patient (DTP) logistics solutions. UPS will deliver.

Pfizer issued this factsheet:

  • Pfizer is working closely with the U.S. government, including state officials, on vaccine distribution, and we are very grateful for their partnership.
  • Pfizer is a proven, reliable multinational vaccine producer, supplying vaccines to more than
    165 countries. Pfizer manufactures more than 200 million doses of Pfizer vaccines annually and is one of the largest sterile injectables suppliers in the world, producing more than 1 billion sterile units per year.
  • Our track record gives us confidence in our ability to quickly scale, manufacture and distribute large quantities of a high-quality COVID-19 vaccine, leveraging multiple sites in the United States and Europe. We have experience working with customers with different infrastructures in all markets.
  • During the initial stage, our contracts are with governments, and we will be providing doses according to their preferred channel and designated vaccination locations, subject to regulatory authorization or approval. We seek to work with governments to support distribution to their defined priority groups, and we anticipate that points of vaccination will vary but may include hospitals, outpatient clinics, community vaccination locations and pharmacies.
  • We have developed detailed logistical plans and tools to support effective vaccine transport, storage and continuous temperature monitoring. Our distribution is built on a flexible, just-in-time system, which will ship the frozen vials direct to the point of vaccination.
  • In the U.S., our distribution approach will be to largely ship from our Kalamazoo, Michigan, site direct to the point of use (POU). We also will use our existing distribution center in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
  • We will be utilizing road and air modes of transportation in the United States, where we expect to be able to get product to any POU within a day or two.
  • We also have developed packaging and storage innovations to be fit for purpose for the range of locations where we believe vaccinations will take place. We have specially designed, temperature-controlled thermal shippers utilizing dry ice to maintain recommended storage temperature conditions of -70°C±10°C for up to 10 days unopened. The intent is to utilize Pfizer-strategic transportation partners to ship by air to major hubs within a country/region and by ground transport to dosing locations.
  • We will utilize GPS-enabled thermal sensors with a control tower that will track the location and temperature of each vaccine shipment across their pre-set routes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These GPS-enabled devices will allow Pfizer to proactively prevent unwanted deviations and act before they happen.
  • Once a POU receives a thermal shipper with our vaccine, they have three options for storage:
    • – Ultra-low-temperature freezers, which are commercially available and can extend shelf life for up to six months.
    • – The Pfizer thermal shippers, in which doses will arrive, that can be used as temporary storage units by refilling with dry ice every five days for up to 30 days of storage.
    • – Refrigeration units that are commonly available in hospitals. The vaccine can be stored for five days at refrigerated 2-8°C conditions.
  • After storage for up to 30 days in the Pfizer thermal shipper, vaccination centers can transfer the vials to 2-8°C storage conditions for an additional five days, for a total of up to 35 days. Once thawed and stored under 2-8°C conditions, the vials cannot be re-frozen or stored under frozen conditions.
  • The various storage options at the POU allow for equitable access to the Pfizer vaccine to areas with differing infrastructure.

Meanwhile the FAA provided guidance to airport and airlines on safety steps that must be taken for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided planning considerations to assist the nation’s airports to facilitate the safe and efficient transportation of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Airport operators have a unique role in the transport of vaccines to the American public,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “Each airport is different, and we are here to support them and make sure they have the information they need as vaccines move through our nation’s transportation network.”

Airports should consider the following aspects of their operating environment to ensure they are fully prepared for aircraft carrying COVID-19 vaccines. This includes both those airports identified for shipments that will transition at airports as well as those that that may serve as alternate/divert airports, even if they will not be a primary destination for aircraft carrying COVID-19 vaccines.

Considerations include (PDF):

  • Aircraft rescue and firefighting coverage. Part 139 certificated airports will generally have adequate personnel and equipment for aircraft transporting COVID-19 vaccines.  However, some aircraft used for vaccine shipment may be larger than the aircraft used for passenger-carrying flights that typically serve that airport. Therefore, an airport operator may opt to have extra aircraft rescue and firefighting coverage available.
  • Adequate snow removal equipment and procedures. The airport operator may consider having additional equipment and personnel available to assist with timely snow removal operations, to clear runway(s)/taxiway(s) for aircraft transporting vaccines.
  • Adequate aircraft parking areas. Airport operators may want to coordinate with other users so that appropriate parking locations to support the type(s) and numbers of aircraft involved are available for vaccine transport aircraft when needed.
  • Coordination with local air traffic control facilities. Airport operators should work with their local air traffic control facilities before and during any vaccine transport flight’s movement on the airfield.
  • Priority access to the airfield for freight vehicles.  Airport operators may consider landside vehicle control and a possible staging area for freight vehicles awaiting their cargo to quickly and safely move shipments of COVID-19 vaccines off-airport.
  • Engagement of federal security and local law enforcement.  Airport operators should consider advance coordination with the Transportation Security AdministrationU.S. Customs and Border Protection, and/or local law enforcement, as necessary for security needs, minimizing customs clearance delays and inspections, and vehicle traffic control.

UPS Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

UPS Airlines aircraft slide show:

UPS pilots see COVID disruption potential

Independent Pilots Association has issued this statement:

The President of the union representing UPS airline pilots has said he agrees with UPS CEO Carol Tomé’s concern that a spike in COVID-19 cases among the pilots has the potential to disrupt the Company’s operations.

In comments made to investors yesterday, Tomé said that “there is a big watch out” with cases spiking that could lead to a disruption in UPS operations should the increase impact the Company’s pilots. “We’re just watching this very, very closely,” she added.

Robert Travis, a UPS A300 Captain and President of the Independent Pilots Association (“IPA”) wrote Tomé today (click here to read letter) confirming that the UPS pilot group is “indeed experiencing a significant increase in the number of pilots testing positive for the virus.”

Travis outlined three steps the IPA is recommending to avoid operational disruptions, and to enhance the health and safety of the pilot group.

In his letter, Travis called for greatly expanded pilot access to testing (both before and after flight assignments), greatly improved pilot contact tracing efforts by UPS, and called on UPS to come to the assistance of crewmembers testing positive for COVID abroad in order to expedite their safe return home via specialized medical evacuation flights, if necessary.

Travis said that the recommendations have been made to lower levels of UPS management, but that they “seem to be languishing under excessive study followed by inaction.”

Travis called on Tomé to personally intervene.

“UPS pilots daily move a significant portion of commerce on which the US and world economy depends,” wrote Travis. “When there is a vaccine, it will be those same pilots that form an important link in the logistical chain to deliver the vaccine. It is therefore critically important, as you (Tomé) implied yesterday, that the pilot group be kept safe and healthy,” Travis said.

The IPA is the collective bargaining unit representing the more than 3,000 professional pilots who fly for United Parcel Service, the world’s largest transportation company. The IPA is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

COVID-19 cases in the United States – source: Johns Hopkins University (JHU):

UPS Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

UPS and pilots reach tentative agreement on two-year contract extension

The Independent Pilots Association (IPA) and UPS Airlines today announced a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract extension.

The short term agreement provides for contract improvements in compensation and retirement.  Specific details of the agreement will not be disclosed before the IPA presents the proposed contract to all UPS pilots.

The contract must be ratified by a majority of UPS’s pilots. The vote by the pilots will be completed on March 31.  If ratified, the new agreement will extend the IPA’s contract with UPS to September 1, 2023.

The IPA is the collective bargaining unit representing the more than 2,900 professional pilots who fly for United Parcel Service, the world’s largest transportation company. The IPA is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

UPS Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

UPS upgrades the Boeing 757 and 767 cockpits

UPS Airlines made this announcement on social media:

Check out this before and after of our Boeing 757 Large Display System (LDS). We’re modifying our 757 and 767 cockpits with advanced avionics technology that will enhance safety and improve reliability.

Photo: UPS.

UPS Air Cargo Teamsters ratify contract

The Teamsters issued this statement:

UPS Airlines aircraft mechanics and related employees at UPS Air Cargo have voted to ratify their newest contract with the company. The contract, which becomes amendable on November 1, 2023, makes UPS Air Cargo mechanics the highest-paid air cargo mechanics in the country by a wide margin.

Some of the improvements in the contract include an immediate 17.72 percent pay increase, raises each year resulting in a 32.61 percent increase in pay from current rates by the end of the contract and the protection of an unparalleled health care package with no premiums.

 

UPS Airlines receives a special gift from Boeing

UPS Airlines on social media made this announcement:

During delivery of our latest Boeing 747-8F (above), Boeing presented us with this amazing gift (below) – a cutout from a retired Boeing 747 fuselage, with pictures of each UPS Airlines aircraft type, delivered new from Boeing over the last 30 years. Wow! Thank you.

All photos by UPS.

Video: UPS air-to-air aircraft video shoot

A new video from UPS:

UPS planes get their moment in front of the camera.

With help from production company 3 Delta Fox and funding from Boeing, UPSers used a 16-hour work day to make some movie magic with our aircraft. First, the video crew went up in a Learjet and UPS pilots took their seats in a Boeing 767. They cruised around downtown Los Angeles and up the California coast line, including the Pacific Ocean. Eventually, they worked their way to San Bernardino, California, where the video crew switched from the Learjet to a helicopter to capture ground shots.

The crew repeated this for the Boeing 757 and the MD-11. Thanks to the clear skies, they were able to capture sunrise, sunset and the afternoon California glow. This kind of shoot takes months of planning, meetings and safety briefings to make sure the entire crew is safe and prepared.

The BrownTales crew went behind the scenes to see what it takes to get these beauty shots. Enjoy!

UPS and International Brotherhood Of Teamsters reach handshake agreement for new National Master Agreement

UPS Airlines (UPS-Worldwide Services) Boeing 747-8F N609UP (msn 64254) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 941249.

UPS issued this statement:

Months of collective bargaining have culminated in a tentative agreement for UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The five-year agreement, which is subject to ratification, covers Teamsters-represented UPS employees in small package roles.

UPS’s goal has been to reward the company’s employees for their contributions to its success while enabling the business to remain flexible to meet its customers’ needs – each of these goals have been met in the new agreement. UPS is well-positioned to grow and meet the needs of its customers.

Negotiations continue on a number of supplemental agreements that cover local work rules as well as the separate agreement that covers about 11,000 Teamsters-represented employees in the UPS Freight® network.

The new agreements will go into effect August 1, 2018, once they are ratified by employees.

Copyright Photo: UPS Airlines (UPS-Worldwide Services) Boeing 747-8F N609UP (msn 64254) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 941249.

UPS aircraft slide show: