UPS Delivers on Time Despite Mother NatureWhen the weather isn’t on your side, the new logistics is. That’s because UPS meteorologists work around the clock, tracking conditions like fog, frost, storms and severe weather to minimise their impact on delivery schedules.
Based at UPS Global Operations Center in Louisville, Kentucky, the team of five weather forecasters monitors UPS’s entire global air network. Their efforts provide the foresight and lead-time necessary to reschedule aircraft or crews and to re-route shipments through alternative hubs or modes of transportation.
“We have critical hours of operation at our hubs, where just one hour can make all the difference in the world,” explains Randy Baker, UPS Senior Meteorologist.
The team was formed in 1994 after a surprise blizzard temporarily shut down the Worldport hub. Since then, UPS meteorologists have worked hand-in-hand with the National Weather Service, applying NWS models and forecasting to keep a closer watch over conditions affecting all UPS hubs and routes. To ensure the highest level of accuracy, UPS aircraft were equipped with sensors that fed real-time wind and moisture data into NWS models. 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 “We can’t afford to let that happen.”
To combat 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 combination of precise conditions and real-time data helps UPS track fog and frost during critical times to help crews on the ground pre-treat or de-ice planes before take-off.
“UPS Meteorologists work very closely with the flight dispatchers and contingency coordinators who fine-tune the air system based on weather issues every day,” says Jim Cramer of UPS. “It gives every decision-maker in the air network the opportunity to position his or her part of the operation for success, despite the weather."
- 5 full-time weather forecasters monitor the UPS global network to ensure your products are delivered on time
- New UPS technology predicts frost and fog conditions to prevent delays