UPS opens $162mn flagship 'London Hub', strengthening cross-border capabilities
UPS has officially opened its £120mn ($162mn) ‘London Hub’, making it one of the company’s largest ever single infrastructure investments outside of the United States.
The 32,000 square metre package sorting and delivery facility in the south east of England spans the space of approximately five football pitches and will create 500 jobs.
Located at the DP World London Gateway Logistics Park, the new building will act as a UK package processing hub and distribution centre for the local area as well as a gateway to UPS’s global logistics network, with capacity to process up to 28,000 packages per hour and room for further expansion.
“Ecommerce growth, cross-border trade expansion, and unique customer needs are accelerating demand for UPS’s services,” said Lou Rivieccio, president, UPS Europe.
“This strategic investment in capacity and cutting-edge technologies in the UK is helping advance UPS’s smart global logistics network of the future.”
With over four miles of conveyor belts, the facility features advanced package scanning and sortation equipment that increase the flexibility to efficiently route packages to their final destinations.
UPS said business and residential customers will benefit from enhanced speed and accuracy as UPS meets their growing global shipping demands.
“This state-of-the-art facility enables us to further improve our services to companies of all sizes that are looking to grow their cross-border business,” said Mark Vale, president for UPS UK, Ireland and Nordics.
“With strong growth in our export volume in the UK, which increased nearly 20% in 2017 and more than 15% in the first quarter of 2018, we are optimistic about the future. This key investment is tangible proof of UPS’s commitment to helping customers doing business in and with the UK.”
The new London Hub is part of a $2bn infrastructure and network investment programme by UPS across Europe to add capacity and provide even faster services across the region.
Recent investments as part of this programme include the announcement of a $154mn facility in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, the opening of an $80mn facility in Bielefeld, Germany, and the construction of a $100mn hub in Evry, France.
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.