John Sommers II for Transport Topics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For Pat Thomas, senior vice president of state government affairs at UPS Inc. and the new chairman of American Trucking Associations, Big Brown’s gargantuan hub here epitomizes freight connectivity.
Worldport, the largest fully automated package-sorting center on the planet, is home to UPS’ airport facility, a truck corral, a network of warehouses and expansive sorting spaces that together handle 416,000 packages per hour. Every machine is synchronized to help workers ensure packages reach their destinations as scheduled.
“If you were going to pick one spot anywhere within our network around the world, this is the best place where you get the most diversity of what our business is,” Thomas told Transport Topics during a visit through the facility.
Thomas is acutely aware that the success of UPS’ finely tuned operations, as well as those of other trucking and transportation firms, hinges in part on the laws and regulations shaped in Washington, D.C., and by state legislatures.His mission at UPS is to ensure that the legal and regulatory environment remains favorable to his company, and he brings that experience to his role as ATA chairman. For more than a dozen years, he has honed those skills educating members of Congress and state legislators about UPS’ priorities.