UPS begins phaseout of older MD-11 cargo jets

UPS has begun a planned phase-out of legacy MD-11 freighters as part of a plan to renew its fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft, which also coincides with new cost-cutting measures amid declining shipping volumes.

The parcel shipping giant’s operating profit fell 3.3% in the fourth quarter on lower revenue as high inflation, the Ukraine war and COVID restrictions in China combined to result in slow global economic growth.

The earnings report included the news that UPS (NYSE: UPS) will retire six of its 42 MD-11s this year. The first plane was pulled from the fleet on Jan. 2, UPS Airlines spokesman Jim Mayer said. The 26-year-old plane arrived the same day at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, a large desert storage facility for planes, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware.

The MD-11s will be replaced by 28 factory-built 767-300 freighters previously ordered from Boeing, seven of which are scheduled for delivery later this year.

The twin-engine 767s offer lower running costs, better reliability and lower CO2 emissions than the three-engine MD-11s.

“Our MD-11s have served us well since the first aircraft was delivered in 2001. They have been a mainstay on international routes and of late have been used primarily in the United States. We will begin replacing them with new, more efficient 767s with deliveries scheduled to begin later this year,” UPS Airlines president Jim Joseph said in a statement provided to FreightWaves.

The MD-11 has a maximum payload of more than 207,000 pounds, with room for 26 containers on the main deck and 13 in the lower hold. The 767 is smaller, with a payload capacity of 132,000 pounds and room for 24 large containers and seven lower deck shipping units. It also has a shorter range.

The express service provider quickly adjusted its network to the lower international volumes in the fourth quarter. Average daily export volume fell 4% year-on-year, led by a 10.3% drop in shipments from Asia. UPS said it canceled more than 200 flights out of China and Hong Kong, allowing it to use 98% of available capacity on flights to Asia while maintaining service levels.

Click here to read more reports on FreightWaves/American Shipper by Eric Kulisch.


UPS places Boeing backorders for 767 Freighters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

| |
Back to top button