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briansommers

I'm trying to figure out how air cargo works.

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How far do typical companies drive from a sort facility?

 

an hour or more?

 

for example FEDEX or UPS, etc.

 

I've tried Google and can't get anywhere

 

Thanks.

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How far do typical companies drive from a sort facility?

 

an hour or more?

 

for example FEDEX or UPS, etc.

 

I've tried Google and can't get anywhere

 

Thanks.

Brian,

 

If I understand you, most major air freight companies have a sort facility at each of their hubs.  

 

blaustern

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I live in the DFW area and used to work at DFW airport. Both UPS and FedEx have facilities at the airport but I don't know how much actual sorting goes on there. FedEx also has a big facility at the Alliance airport just north of Ft. Worth. I'm guessing that they do have a sorting facility there. Both UPS and FedEx have large terminals in both Dallas and Ft. Worth and I would guess that they do most of their sorting there before it goes to the DFW airport.

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How far do typical companies drive from a sort facility?

 

an hour or more?

 

for example FEDEX or UPS, etc.

 

I've tried Google and can't get anywhere

 

Thanks.

 

UPS has a smaller fleet of planes. They truck a lot more of air than FDX. A lot of your deferred air (2 and 3day) never see a plane. Even your Next Day Air may not see a plane depending on origin and destination. I had a 2 Day air from Boston to Orlando never touch an aircraft. I went by truck and made service.

 

As far as sorting, UPS sorts a lot of air in centers around the country. For instance in Miami, the center has cans that get loaded into trailers and even on flat beds already sorted that go to the airport and put on a plane. Those cans don't get sorted again until they hit World Port or another regional hub for outbound to the final destination.

 

Here is a couple interesting links on UPS Hot Spare program

 

http://gearpatrol.com/2015/04/22/on-alert-with-ups-hot-spares/

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gcJPvaiCkvM

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The answer is totally dependent on population density. I've been at a facility where there are three couriers in a 10 block area. In the same state, there are couriers who drive 200+ miles per day. Also for "skyscrapers" there can be 3 to 4 couriers in the same, high rise, building. The last point can be true of hospitals as well.

 

Here is an example from the company I work for:

 

There are designated hubs. If the freight is two day commitment or more, then you truck it into a hub sort. If the product is a premium service (the priority is earliest to latest. for example a package due at 6AM is a higher priority than one at 10AM. 10AM > 2:30 PM etc (times totally made up)), then you use the smallest aircraft possible from remote locations. Think propellor planes from say AVP to JFK or SYR to JFK.

 

Once the plane is in, it gets unloaded into a sort, then trucked to it's final destination OR goes to a designated hub via a larger aircraft. For example, a priority package is moving from SYR to DFW. There is a propellor plane (C208 or ATR) from SYR to JFK. From there the JFK hub would sort it and send it to ATL (UPS) or MEM (FDX) to be moved to DFW.

 

Once in DFW,  the hub will have an overnight shift that will sort the packages into the local markets. These packages then go into ULDs that are trucked to a local facility. (Most often they name the facility based on the closest airport. For example, a station in Edison NJ could be named LDJ. USPS, Greyhound and some passenger trains do this as well). In the AM, the freight that the hub sorted to your location is offloaded at the facility. Couriers on conveyor belts then scan it and load it into their truck in a specific order. For bulk shipments, there is usually one route that does 2 to 3 of these shipments. 

 

For flight sim purposes, there are typically crews in the air waiting to be deployed to a airport for planes that are "down hard". Also, there are crews that are called in from other airports if needed to cover a route or provide additional lift.

 

Hope this has been helpful.

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There's  a major facility in Eastern PA near the major highways.  I cannot remember the name of the town/city.  I'm in Northern NJ and had packages go through there before getting to Dover, NJ (off route 80).  That major facility is about three hours drive from where I live.  I wonder fi there are rail links there too?

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I'm assuming that down hard is a plane that isn't working/can't fly?

Well then how does Ameriflight work?

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After looking at Ameriflight in more depth it seems like they are acting like a subcontractor for FEDX, UPS, DHL and maybe others?

 

I think I'm going at this as if I'm trying to start my own "FEDEX" if you will. 

 

mmmm.. 

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think I'm going at this as if I'm trying to start my own "FEDEX" if you will.

 

You might think about GEC. :smile: 

 

blaustern

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"Down Hard" means the plane is unflyable as determined by maintenance.

I'm not sure about Ameriflight and subcontractors. Sorry I'm of no help there.

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You mean Global Express Cargo - farming out trucking, etc?

 

GEC = Lufthansa Cargo.

 

blaustern

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Ameriflight runs in to the cities that are too small for a large plane to be profitable but still deliver the next day service.  I know one runs from KDFW-KSPS-KAMA.

 

As for your "down hard" question.  FDX I know has flying spares.  Some airplanes are not on a direct route to KMEM.  They do that so they can cover an area in case one breaks.  People who have rode on them said ever if offered a direct route to KMEM they can't take it so they can be in a position to cover a broken plane.

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