Technology is Utilized to Combat Weather Conditions

Technology is Utilized to Combat Weather Conditions

Whether it’s halfway around the world or in your hometown, inclement weather conditions can affect the way you do business. Delays in shipping can cost you money, time, business and, ultimately, affect your entire customer base.

In 1994, a surprise blizzard shut down the Worldport hub. Worldport, located at the Louisville International Airport, is the worldwide air hub for UPS. Although UPS has had a hub at Louisville since 1980, the term “Worldport” was not used officially by the company until 2002, after a billion dollar upgrade and gigantic expansion was made to the facility. Prior to that, the project was called Hub 2000. Today, Worldport is the size of 80 football fields and capable of handling 115 packages a second—that’s 416,000 packages per hour.

After the 1994 blizzard, a team of five meteorologists were assembled to monitor UPS’s entire global air network. Their hard work and commitment to excellence provide the vision and preparedness necessary to rearrange aircrafts or crews and to re-route shipments through alternative hubs or even alternate modes of transportation. UPS meteorologists work hand-in-hand with the National Weather Service, utilizing NWS models and forecasting to keep a closer watch over conditions affecting all UPS hubs and routes.”We have critical hours of operation at our hubs, where just one hour can make all the difference in the world,” says Randy Baker, UPS Senior Meteorologist.

To ensure the highest level of accuracy, all UPS aircraft were equipped with sensors that fed real-time wind and moisture data into NWS models. But, despite having the best forecasting information available, it was still difficult to reliably predict frost and fog. “Frost and fog can cause tens or even hundreds of thousands of service failures if it catches us by surprise,” says Terry Finerty, Manager of Aircraft De-icing. To fight these potential delays, UPS meteorologists have developed a simulated airplane wing that allows them to monitor condensation as it would occur on an actual wing. The integration of precise conditions and real-time data helps UPS track fog and frost during crucial times to help crews on the ground pre-treat or de-ice planes before take-off.

Entrusting your business to anyone is difficult. But, when you partner with Worldwide Express and UPS, you have the benefit of billions of dollars in technological advancements, as well as lessons learned the hard way and solutions put into place to prevent previous predicaments from happening again. Having a partner with that kind of experience and legacy is one of the easiest ways to safeguard against whatever you and your business are facing—today, tomorrow, and into the future.