UPS plans 9 new facilities, more routes in Brazil

ATLANTA (AP) — UPS is opening nine new facilities in Brazil to expand its delivery network to more than 200 Brazilian cities.

The growth of small and medium-size businesses in Brazil, an expanding middle class and more activity in online commerce drove the decision invest more in the country, the company said Tuesday.

Brazil's economy has waned since booming in the early part of the century, and many economists see a recession coming. The annual percentage growth rate of the country's gross domestic product has plunged since reaching 7.5 percent in 2010, hitting 2.5 percent last year, according to the World Bank.

Still the percentage of those living below the poverty line continues to decline every year. The country is the world's third-largest food exporter and it's expected to be a big exporter of oil within a decade.

The sites for the planned centers are in Sao Carlos, Ribeirao Preto, Franca, Bauru, Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Botucatu, Aracatuba and Presidente Prudente. UPS will also increase its truck fleet to 115 vehicles and add new routes.

The new storefronts and warehouses in the state of Sao Paulo are scheduled to be completed by May 2015, the Atlanta company said.

Shares of United Parcel Service Inc. rose 23 cents to $103.68.