Mark Elias/Bloomberg News

ROCKFORD, Ill. — UPS this summer will move some airfreight operations from Des Moines, Iowa, to the Chicago Rockford International Airport, bringing 240 jobs to the company’s second-largest air-sorting facility in the United States.

The move, which is set for mid-July, will add 13 UPS flights per week to the Rockford airport.

UPS’ Rockford Regional Air Hub — a 586,000-square-foot facility — was chosen to maximize use of the space and because of the city’s proximity to Chicago, Madison and beyond, UPS spokesman Jim Mayer said.

UPS ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.

“Rockford is actually designed specifically for sorting air packages, whereas Des Moines is not,” he said. “The hub at Rockford is also right there at the airport, which is generally the case with any of our air hub facilities. Rockford is also closer to major markets.”

UPS in Rockford employs 1,100 people. The new jobs involve package handling, loading and unloading aircraft and other sorting tasks. Most of the positions will be part-time and day shift. The starting hourly wage is $10.20.

“We had existing capacity during the daytime, when this is going to take place,” Mayer said.

Some 121,000 packages are sorted each hour at Rockford. The facility serves 14 states. UPS’ main hub is 5.2 million square feet and is located in Louisville, Kentucky.

UPS still will operate one nightly flight in Des Moines for next-day package delivery, Mayer said, and the employees affected by the change are “going to have the opportunity to move to different positions.”

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By Adam Poulisse
Rockford Register Star, Ill.

 

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