The ambitious facility will be constructed on a 28.5-acre plot on the eastern side of East Midlands Airport in Leicestershire, UPS’ biggest air freight hub in Britain and its second biggest in Europe, behind Cologne.
Its current hub covers 86,000 sq ft and employs 342 package handlers, screeners, clerical workers, support staff, team leaders, supervisors and a manager, and has processed 100 million packages there in the last ten years.
It is understood the parcel giant could invest up to £114 million in the new site – making it one of the biggest projects it has ever undertaken.
The design and access statement submitted as part of the planning application shows that the 24-hour operation could employ 936 people within two years and 1,392 within eight years.
The site, which is situated in between the airport and the M1, is located next to the Pegasus Business Park, a spacecurrently used for parking.
In a statement a UPS spokeswoman said: “UPS is always looking to make strategic investments that provide opportunities to grow our business and to strengthen the services and solutions that we bring to our customers.
“We can confirm that planning permission has been submitted for expansion of our operations at the East Midlands Airport.
“Given that the planning stage is not finalised at this time, we are not able to provide further specifics.”
East Midlands Airport is already the UK’s busiest cargo airport, second only to Heathrow – handling more than 320,000 tonnes every year.
The airport hopes to triple freight shipments to one million tonnes a year within the next 10-20 years.
Last year DHL opened a £90 million extension to its huge depot on the site.
Airport managing director Andy Cliffe said the whole site employs around 7,000 people – including 600 staff directly employed by the airport – and there were big expansion plans, despite the uncertainties of Brexit.
He said: “There are still very positive growth conversations at the airport – UPS has recently submitted £100 million plans for a new parcel distribution facility here.
“That’s a significant addition to what they already have at the airport and we take transatlantic flights for those guys and from all over Europe.
“DHL have their extension, while on the passenger side we are still in growth mode.
“I would describe this as a time of enormous opportunities, but at the same time some of the risks [associated with Brexit] are very significant.”