FedEx trebles size of operations at Ontario International Airport

Sorting facility capable of handling 12,000 packages per hour

The new FedEx facility on the northwest quadrant of Ontario International Airport (ONT) is hard to miss for anyone traveling along E Airport Drive, the culmination of a US$100.0 million investment by FedEx Express, and a vivid reminder of ONT’s status as a leading cargo hub in North America.

FedEx Express will employ 490 at its newly expanded Ontario Airport operations.

The centrepiece of the two-year transformation is a 23,320 m2 complex which opened earlier this month and includes a sorting facility capable of handling 12,000 packages per hour. The facility also includes nine wide-body aircraft gates, 14 feeder aircraft gates and 18 truck docks.

The opening of the new FedEx Express Ontario ramp greatly strengthens the Company’s operations and services, including its competitive position in the market and added efficiency to handle the increasing eCommerce volume coming out of the Southern California area.

The redeveloped parcel of more than 50 acres is nearly triple the size of the previous space FedEx occupied and represents the most significant improvement project at ONT since the 1990s. With considerably more space and increased capacity, the operation will employ 490.

The shipping company’s move across the airport and the construction of modern facilities and improved infrastructure are key components of a lease approved by the Ontario International Airport Authority in June 2018, keeping the shipper at ONT for at least 30 years.

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Under terms of the agreement, which includes provisions that could extend FedEx Express’s presence at ONT for up to 50 years, the airport authority cleared the 51.1 acre lot of structures above and below ground, performed surface grading and took responsibility for required environmental impact reports and analyses.

In turn, FedEx Express, which had operated at ONT for 33 years on 18.5 acres on the airport’s south side, agreed to construct operational, maintenance and administrative facilities while making needed infrastructure improvements including 142,140 m2 of concrete for aircraft ramp and trucking operations. The improvements were to be completed by November 30.

Cargo was a point of strength for ONT before the coronavirus brought global air travel to a sudden stop in March. In 2020, however, air freight has been the lifeblood of the airport and will continue to be for years to come. Air cargo volume increased 19.0% through the first nine months of the year and by 20.0% or more in six of those months. From January through September, freight volume was nearly 645,000 tons compared to 539,000 tons in the same period in 2019.

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