HONG KONG (AP) - FedEx said Wednesday it will spend US$150 million (euro123 million) to develop a second Asian hub in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, adding to its existing regional center in the Philippines.
The new hub at Guangzhou's Baiyun International Airport is designed to better serve clients doing business in China, FedEx Corp., the world's largest cargo airline, said in a statement.
It will contain floor space of 82,000 square meters (91,000 square feet) on a site of 63 hectares (155 acres) and offer a handling capacity of 24,000 packages an hour, the company said.
The facility, which has a target opening date of December 2008, will hire 1,200 people initially.
The new hub gives Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx a base in a fast growing market.
Air freight from China to the U.S. is projected to grow an average of 9.6 percent a year over the next 20 years, according to FedEx.
It wasn't immediately clear exactly how the new Guangzhou hub will affect FedEx's regional operations in Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base just north of the Philippine capital of Manila.
Last May, FedEx extended its lease in the Philippines until 2010.
FedEx said Wednesday it will continue to keep its presence in the Philippines and that its locations there will remain "integral parts'' of the FedEx network.
However, the company also said the Guangzhou site will "assume and expand the current activities of the existing hub in the Philippines.'' - AP