LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Peak season is officially underway at the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, which means hundreds of planes stuffed with packages are coming and going each day through the rest of 2020.
Between 450 and 500 planes will take off and land a day, according to UPS spokesperson Jim Mayer.
“We want to deliver all of those packages on time, but we want to deliver them safely, so that means things like requiring mask wearing, social distancing, enhancing cleaning,” Mayer said.
UPS Worldport hired 3,500 more employees during the holiday rush to help load plane pods and keep daily tasks running smoothly. There are close to 12,000 employees working at Louisville’s Worldport year-round.
Dan Mann, the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport Executive Director, said they’ve stayed busy, even before peak season. Because of the pandemic, the airport has had a record breaking number of cargo shipments in 2020.
"6.2 billion pounds. We’re the fourth busiest cargo airport in the world," Mann explained. "We work all season to get the air field ready to go."
The pandemic has not only changed how things are done, but it’s also affected what UPS ships. At first, it was COVID-19 test kits. Now, they’re preparing to ship vaccines.
"As soon as a vaccine is available, we’re standing by to assist with that," Mayer said.
UPS is also ready to make their own dry ice so they can ship vaccines at a colder temperature.
"We’re here to serve whether it’s delivering packages or Christmas presents, or whether it’s delivering the vaccine. That’s why we’re all about," Mayer said.
Peak season usually ends once Christmas is over, but in the world of gift cards, UPS said it lasts a little longer, through the start of January.