United Techs Team Up to Improve Houston Food Bank Warehouse - United Hub

Techs team up to improve Houston Food Bank warehouse

By The Hub team

A delegation of technicians from our Airframe Overhaul and Repair team were among the 100 or so employees who took part in the United Day activities in mid-September at the Houston Food Bank. And, being technicians, they came away from the experience with more than the satisfaction of having volunteered; they decided to apply their skills to improving the food bank's warehouse and associated systems.

"Our job that day was to move pallets," said Kim McLerran, airframe operations manager at Houston Intercontinental. "In doing so, it became pretty clear to us that we could improve the way items are stored and moved, making the processes safer and more efficient, and the Food Bank representatives said they would welcome the assistance."

The team determined that one of the features of the warehouse that was slowing them down was the metal roller racks in the floors. Our team removed the roller racks, which actually increased the time needed to move one pallet as much as fivefold compared to using pallet jacks. Not to mention, the roller racks posed a safety concern for unescorted people, particularly children, if they wandered into the warehouse area.

In addition to removing the roller racks, our Airframe team also painted a safe zone between the packing area and pallet loading area, where a door opens automatically. In that area, if people came through without paying attention, could walk right into the path of a trolley. The team also installed guides on the tracks for the trolleys in the sorting area. Before that, the trolleys were not always lining up correctly, and they could hit posts as they moved down the rail.

"Your contribution has made it easier for our volunteers to be able to move a larger number of boxes," said Leslie Tarango, corporate volunteer recruiter for the Houston Food Bank, "…we have almost doubled our productivity. That turns into more hungry people being fed!"

The Houston Food Bank is the nation's largest and distributes 122 million nutritious meals through its network of 1,500 community partners in southeast Texas, feeding 800,000 individuals each year.

The Houston Food Bank's School Markets program was the recipient of a $1 million grant we announced earlier this summer as part of our Critical Needs Grants program, an $8 million investment we committed to organizations across our hub markets.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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