ATLANTA, Nov. 10, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- UPS (NYSE: UPS) today announced plans to invest in excess of $400 million to build a new regional package sorting hub on the west side of Atlanta. The new hub will be the third largest processing facility in the company's U.S. network. Construction will begin this month on a 341 acre industrial site in Fulton County with support from Georgia, Atlanta and Fulton County economic development teams. The project is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2018 with 1,250 new employee positions operating on multiple sorting shifts. "UPS has proudly made its global headquarters in Atlanta for more than two decades," said David Abney, UPS chairman and CEO. "This strategic capital investment will feature state-of-the-art technology. When combined with the strong transportation connections and talented labor pool that Atlanta provides, UPS is building flexibility to meet the growing needs of our customers and our business in Georgia, and around the world." The new facility will feature the latest UPS sorting, processing and data capture technology. UPS compiles significant volumes of shipment status data as it moves packages through its transportation network. Using this data, the company provides industry-leading package tracking, the capability to seamlessly change delivery location to meet customer requirements and the flexibility to modify shipment routing in response to weather or other unplanned occurrences. In the advanced 1.2 million square foot Atlanta facility, more than 100,000 packages per hour will be carried over 15 miles of conveyors using highly automated processing equipment. Six-sided laser label decode tunnels will rapidly capture package information from address labels. High-speed UPS Smart Label ® applicators will place labels on packages at a rate of 3 per second, providing UPS personnel instructions for proper routing and loading on local delivery vehicles. In addition to sorting and processing, the hub will include a delivery vehicle center capable of dispatching more than 280 trucks for area delivery and pickup, and a UPS Customer Center for retail service. The facility will also operate onsite compressed natural gas fueling for delivery vehicles and large tractor-trailer rigs to service the local UPS alternative fuel vehicles fleet. The company is working with Majestic Realty Company to develop the Fulton County site to UPS specifications.