|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Record Day for Shipping in the U.S. Postal ServiceAired December 20, 2000 - 2:19 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS. CNN ANCHOR: The United States Postal Service reports a record today, 314 million items moved through the postal system Monday. The Monday before Christmas traditionally is the postal service's busiest day. This new record breaks one set back in 1995.
Now, a blizzard of packages zipping here and there may look like ordinary brown boxes to the uninitiated, but to CNN's Jeff Flock, holiday gifts in transit are big news.
Here's Jeff at the UPS hub just outside Chicago. Jeff, don't get in the way, now.
JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I do feel like I'm in Santa's workshop or something. Maybe you can see these conveyer belts going behind me, and we may have a higher perspective that gives you a better feel for it, Lou. It's an extraordinary sight right now to see all these, and I say literally millions, thousand, upwards of million of packages now being sent to where they're supposed to go.
We are in what they call the bull frog area. And you know, we're going to demonstrate something to you. Go ahead and send those packages down. If you're able to see these individual -- these trays that hold the packages. This is fascinating because you can see these trays occasionally flip a package out and throw into the bin. It's all sort of computer-controlled. They've been coded and they somehow get where they're supposed to go.
One of the -- it's not all computer controlled. Actually, there's some people here. Justine is someone who is keeping track of this. What are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What I'm doing is I am putting the boxes into the bag, which fall into the bags, organizing them so they each fit in there, you know, nicely. And once the bag is full, zip up the bag. Pressing the button, which prints out the ticket to where it is -- destination to. Zip up the bag and then put it onto the belt and then replace the bag.
FLOCK: So, essentially they come in on this one conveyor belt and then they go out on this other conveyor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, right. Yes.
FLOCK: Pretty busy this time of year. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes, definitely. This has been here all day for us.
FLOCK: I want to give you some sense of just how busy this particular hub is as we let Justine get back to work. Let me tell you that this hub is the largest ground hub for UPS and it is believed to be the largest package distribution facility in the world.
In and out daily about 3,800 tractor trailer loads and about 500,000 packages -- that's a half million packages processed each four-hour shift. As we said, they come in on one conveyer, come out on the other. Maybe outside we can give a perspective, too, of how enormous this place is.
Mike Joel is a man who keeps track of this stuff. How are you doing today? A busy day again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still busy. Still busy. We've already had our peak day, but we're still helping Santa.
FLOCK: Are you swamped, or do you got this under control?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, take a look around. I see a lot of packages moving. I wouldn't say we're swamped. We're very, very busy, but we have 11, 000 elves to help us move those Santa's packages through the building.
FLOCK: That's true. This -- we talked about, this is 37 football fields in size, and you've got 11,000 people in here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 11,000 people that work in a 24-hour period. You bet you.
FLOCK: You said when this gets going it kind of takes on a life of its own.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It kind of does. Now, I'm fortunate in the sense that I've been here since we started; since we actually built the building, and I still look at it in amazement every day that I walk through because it really does take on a life of its own, especially at Christmas-time or in times when we have -- where we need a little bit extra. Really moving.
FLOCK: And Jerry, as we're talking here with Mike, maybe you can see, they just keep coming. Look at the raft of boxes that just keep coming at you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they're coming from all over the country. Going out to all over the country. Mostly ground service packages, but there's a few premium service packages, too. But they're coming from all over North America.
FLOCK: And they're going on those trays carefully. It looks -- it's kind of crazy, but they're carefully adjusted on each of those tray so if they get tossed in the bag. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, actually what happens is they go down the trays, and they pass underneath the camera. The camera locates that maxicode (ph) label and assigns it to one of those bins. When it reaches the bin, the tray tilts and it simply slides into the bag.
FLOCK: You know what you're doing. Mike Joel, appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks.
FLOCK: Thanks very for the special, inside, behind-the-scenes look. We have been, on cnn.com, our Web site, been doing a half-hour long Web cast and we invited anyone who'd like to to click on that as well as we take a further behind-the-scenes look at a really extraordinary place -- the largest package distribution facility in the world, humming at its busiest this week.
I'm Jeff Flock, CNN, reporting live from Hodgkins, Illinois.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.