New Fed Ex Facility At Ontario Airport Expands Cargo Volume

At Ontario International Airport, holiday travelers stood, or sat, witness to the immediate success of Federal Express’s occupancy of its newly-completed 251,000-square-foot ground reception/distribution facilities.
Covering 51 acres on the northwest side of the aerodrome, the addition includes a concrete ramp with aircraft bays used to load and offload packages, a ground staging area and a sorting building.
Fed Ex Corporation is investing $100 million in an effort to efficientize and speed its package delivery capability into the Inland Empire and the immediately adjoining portion of Southern California. The Ontario Airport facility is a significant part of that outlay.
The modernization effort, which has taken two years, came just in time for the Christmas gift-giving rush, which has been made even more intense by the COVID-19 restrictions in place that have made traditional store shopping more difficult for buyers. Air cargo handled at Ontario International, including that at the Fed-Ex facility and the United Parcel Service package processing center, increased 19 percent during the first nine months of 2020. It is believed the freight moving through the airport over the Christmas season will leap upward by more than 25 percent over the material passing through the airport last year.
The new facility is three times the square-footage of Federal Express’s previous cargo/freight-handling space in Ontario. The upgrade represents the most expensive capital improvement at the airport since the addition of the two modern terminals and concourse in 1998.
Fed Express has been operating out of Ontario International Airport since 1987. Its previous location was on the south side of the airport, and covered 18.5 acres. The newly-completed 51-acre facility entails nine aircraft gates for wide-body planes, 14 feeder aircraft gates, 18 truck docks and greatly enhanced ramps to facilitate trucking operations. At maximum capacity, the sorting function, can handle 12,000 packages per hour.
“The opening of the new Fed Ex Express Ontario ramp greatly strengthens our operations and services, including our competitive position in the market and added efficiency to handle the increasing e-commerce volume coming out of the Southern California area,” said Richard W. Smith, the regional president of the Americas for FedEx Express.
Those departing from Ontario International Airport in the early morning of December 19 experienced firsthand how the Fed Ex operations had added to the air traffic coming into the airport. Flights departing from the airport between 5 a.m and 6 a.m., including a United Airlines flight to Denver, were delayed on the ground for as long as fifteen minutes while incoming Fed-Ex cargo planes monopolized the runways.
“We’re proud to launch this state-of-the-art ramp operation right before the peak holiday season,” Smith said.
According to Fed Ex, as many as 490 employees will now be employed by the company at Ontario International.
-Mark Gutglueck

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