ATLANTA, Nov. 11, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- UPS (NYSE: UPS) will invest $196 million to expand its Jacksonville ground package hub to add more than 260,000 square feet to the building and advanced technology and operations automation. When completed in the fall of 2019, capacity will increase by one-third to more than 80,000 packages processed per hour. "Jacksonville is one of the larger U.S. ground processing facilities and an important transit point to connect road and rail in the UPS network," said Kim Wyant, president of UPS's Florida District. "We appreciate the state and local community support for the new technology and jobs that give UPS flexibility to meet growing needs of our customers." More than 1,650 full and part-time UPS employees work at both the hub and its adjacent four package centers. The company has committed to new full-time jobs as well as expanded employee parking as part of the plan. Onsite liquefied natural gas fueling remains on the property to power the growing UPS fleet of alternative fueled tractors. Changes in the building footprint provide a larger trailer staging area. Another 46 familiar brown package car positions will meet the needs for growing local delivery operations. The Jacksonville facility will be retrofitted to include the latest UPS sorting and processing technology with advanced automation to increase the building's flexibility and response to customer needs. Six-sided decode tunnels will replace traditional scanning to rapidly capture package information from address labels. High-speed UPS Smart Label ® applicators will place labels on packages to give personnel instructions for proper routing, loading on local delivery vehicles. Small, lightweight packages typical of e-commerce will flow through new systems that maintain UPS reliability in loads built for destinations throughout Florida. The Jacksonville project joins a multi-year UPS investment plan to expand and modernize its global network operations and capacity.