United Parcel Service Inc., the world’s largest package-delivery company, ordered 27 Boeing Co. 767-300ER freighters valued at as much as $3.89 billion as increasing global trade boosts shipping demand.
The purchase comes as Atlanta-based UPS remains in talks with Airbus , SAS over its delayed order for 10 A380 jumbo freighters. The new planes aren’t intended to replace the A380s and will instead fill shorter-range needs, UPS said today in a statement. The 767s will be delivered between 2009 and 2012.
UPS is expanding its fleet of 267 jet aircraft as global trade increases shipments by air. Such deliveries accounted for almost 35 percent of UPS’s 2006 sales, or $16.8 billion. The 767s will be used on routes between the U.S., Europe and Latin America, and within Asia and Europe.
The 767 “provides great flexibility, fast time in transit and sound cost performance,” Bob Lekites, UPS vice president for airline and international operations, said in the statement.
The planes’ list price is $133 million to $144 million each. Orders for multiple aircraft usually are discounted. Boeing 767-300ER freighters delivered in 2006 were valued at $78 million each, according to Airclaims Group’s Ascend, which maintains aircraft fleet and valuation data.
Boeing had an order backlog of just 28 767s, or enough for about two years’ worth of production, before UPS’s order, according to Ascend.
“Keeping the line open through 2012 is Boeing’s big win with this one,” Douglas Runte, managing director of RBS Greenwich Capital Markets, said in an interview. “The order itself is very nice.”
The purchase underscores increasing demand for freighter aircraft, with Boeing forecasting worldwide cargo traffic will increase an average of 6 percent a year over the next two decades. Cargo planes accounted for 18 percent of Boeing orders, by value, last year.
UPS already is adding 11 Boeing MD-11s at a rate of one a month through the end of 2007, and will take delivery of five Boeing 747-400s this year and five next year.