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A never-ending conveyor belt of packages gets sorted for delivery by Alan Migala, left, and Angela Bowyer on Tuesday at the FedEx distribution site in Spokane. “We run out of hours before we run out of packages” said manager Charles Blatner.  (Christopher Anderson)
A never-ending conveyor belt of packages gets sorted for delivery by Alan Migala, left, and Angela Bowyer on Tuesday at the FedEx distribution site in Spokane. “We run out of hours before we run out of packages” said manager Charles Blatner. (Christopher Anderson)

Flood of holiday shipments fills growing FedEx facility

Charles Blatner said he does not know if Monday was the busiest day ever for FedEx, but the senior manager for the Spokane terminal knows it’s busy.

The facility in the Spokane Business and Industrial Park has been adding people and trucks to keep up with the expected increase in holiday-related traffic, Blatner said, adding that shipments are tracking about 10 percent higher than normal volume.

He said Spokane FedEx relies in part on drivers, some with other jobs, who return every year for the four- to five-week crush. Others hope to catch on full time, he said.

FedEx has projected an 11 percent jump in Thanksgiving-to-Christmas traffic in 2010, which translates into about 223 million shipments through its international ground and air operations.

Blatner, who has managed the Spokane terminal since 2002, said daily traffic has increased enough to justify an expansion. The work is expected to be complete in June, he said.

“We’ve increased the capacity of our building fairly substantially,” he said.

The terminal serves an area up to 20,000 square miles, about twice the size of the state of Vermont.

Despite the traffic volume, Blatner said FedEx very seldom works on Sundays, even during a season like that of 2008, when snow at times made many streets impassable.



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