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ATLANTA, GA: February 01, 2018. UPS has converted options for 14 B747-8s into firm orders, adding to a 2016 order of 14 B747-8s. Four B767 freighters are also on order and all 32 aircraft will be in service by 2022.

The company took delivery of three B747-8s last year and now operates 500 owned and leased aircraft including 59 B767s.

B767 UPSUPS chairman and CEO David Abney said the new order was the result of "record level" intra-U.S. next-day and deferred air shipments, while the company's international segment has produced four consecutive quarters of double-digit export shipment growth.

The aircraft are part of a US$12 billion investment program as a consequence of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law last year. UPS said the money would be used to expand its Smart Logistics Network and "significantly" increase pension funding.

The company said it recently made a US$5 billion tax-qualified contribution to three UPS-sponsored U.S. pension plans, representing US$13,000 per participant, to raise the funding level to above 90-percent, for both union and non-union employees.

UPS has also committed an additional US$7 billion over three years for the construction and renovation of facilities, to acquire new aircraft and ground fleet vehicles, and to enhance its IT platforms.

"Tax reform is a tremendous catalyst," said Abney. "Our investments will create new jobs, secure existing jobs and expand opportunities for our people. We are committed to remaining a preferred employer by continuing to provide industry-leading compensation and excellent career opportunities."

FedEx has also announced new investment plans as a result of the new Act including US200 million in increased compensation, most of which will go to hourly employees, a contribution of US$1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan, and US$1.5 billion to expand the FedEx Express Indianapolis hub over the next seven years.

The company said it believes the Act will likely lead to an increase in U.S. GDP.

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