UPS to Begin Holiday Cargo Shipments Out of San Bernardino International Airport

Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News

UPS Inc. announced Nov. 15 it will begin seasonal cargo operations out of San Bernardino International Airport for the month of December.

UPS, which has not operated from San Bernardino International Airport in the past, said it will run four flights a week that month using Boeing 757s from San Bernardino to UPS’s Worldport air hub in Louisville, Kentucky.

UPS ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.

Tom Cuce, president of UPS’s Southern California District, said in a statement the holidays mark the busiest time of the year for UPS, “and with a huge spike in holiday shipments, we need additional capacity to deliver for our customers.”

UPS officials said they expect to deliver more than 700 million packages globally between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, a 14% increase over the same period last year.

“UPS is a major employer in the region. With state-of-the-art facilities, availability of specialized cargo equipment and attractive cost structure, SBD is well-positioned to support UPS’s air cargo needs at the SBD International Airport,” Carey Davis, mayor of San Bernardino and president of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority, said in a statement.

In recent years, SBD officials say the facility has made key investments to support air cargo activities. SBD Aviation Director Mark Gibbs said the airport has a large warehouse where goods can be unloaded from a plane into trucks very quickly.

“We have invested in the infrastructure to support permanent cargo carriers, so those logistics companies will determine what best suits their network, and we’re here to support that growth,” Gibbs said by phone. “We do have the equipment, and we have the facilities, both of which we’ve invested in to make it easy for them. It can be difficult to find a place that has excess capacity, facilities and equipment.”

San Bernardino International Airport was converted from the former Norton Air Force Base in 1992 and later became certified as a commercial airport by the FAA. Much of the business at the airport today is in private business jet travel, with five maintenance, repair and overhaul businesses for general aviation located at SBD. The airport also is positioning itself to provide domestic and international passenger service sometime in the future, officials said.

“We were very focused on infrastructure development, and we’ve got a lot of those pieces in place,” Gibbs said. “We began reaching out to different cargo carriers to show them what we’ve got to offer at the airport and the Inland Empire region as a whole. We’ve got some great opportunities and we’ve got great infrastructure.”

UPS has its West Coast hub of operations for air and truck cargo out of ONT. UPS spokesman Jim Mayer said the company needed the extra capacity at SBD for holiday shipments this year.

“We have such a huge increase in (shipments), we just needed the extra capacity, so it made sense and San Bernardino was in a good location,” Mayer said.

As for the future of UPS at San Bernardino International

“We continually look at our network but we didn’t have specific plans for San Bernardino after the end of December,” Mayer said.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC