Purolator to build $330M ‘national super hub’ in Toronto

IMAGE: Purolator President and CEO, John Ferguson. (CNW Group/Purolator Inc.)

Purolator President and CEO, John Ferguson. (CNW Group/Purolator Inc.)

Purolator says it will construct a state-of-the-art, $330-million “national super hub” on a 60-acre site in Toronto which will triple its capacity, as part of a $1-billion investment due to record volume and the growth of e-commerce.

“Today’s announcement is one of the most ambitious in our company’s history and will future-proof our business,” said John Ferguson, president and CEO of Purolator, in a release Tuesday morning announcing the investments. “Purolator has experienced record growth over the past three years. We picked up and delivered over one quarter of a billion packages in 2018 and we expect our growth trajectory to continue.”

Purolator says the dramatic growth has led to 2,500 new jobs during the past three years, increasing its workforce by about 20 per cent. It expects that trend to continue.

The centrepiece of the growth and innovation investment will be the 430,000-square-foot national hub, which is scheduled to open in 2021. The facility will triple capacity and “step change” Purolator’s network with cutting-edge automation. Purolator is designing the hub to provide flexibility for growth and scalability to optimize delivery during peak volume periods.

It will be built to leading environmental standards, following the Toronto Green Standards program.

“We have consistently evolved over our 60 years to stay one step ahead of change and this investment will solidify our position to deliver the future for generations to come, creating opportunities at home, across North America and around the world for businesses, consumers and employees,” Ferguson said in the release. 

Purolator’s $1B investment plans

The project is driven by shifts due to e-commerce and technology which are radically changing the way businesses and consumers buy, sell and exchange goods. E-commerce sales are expected to reach $4.88 trillion worldwide by 2021.

Other major facets of the $1B investment include:

* Significant investments in employee training, learning and development, and diversity and inclusion.

* Fleet upgrades during 2019 and 2020, when more than 1,000 new vehicles with advanced technology will be introduced. Purolator says it will maintain its position as the express courier company with the largest green fleet in Canada, rolling out its first wave of fully electric vehicles in 2020 to complement its hybrid electric fleet.

* Consumer access strategy: The company is adding more consumer access points across Canada and enhancing its retail network. This includes upgrading high-traffic stores in large urban centres, expanding its Mobile Quick Stop service and piloting new last-mile pick-up and delivery options.

The company will have a special focus on the Greater Toronto area, which is projected to soon contain more than 50 per cent of Ontario’s total population.

In addition to the super hub, Purolator plans to open its newest GTA terminal in September. The state-of-the-art terminal is an $8.5-million, 110,000-square-foot facility in North York which will add up to 135 delivery routes and employ a workforce of 200.

Purolator will also expand its Mobile Quick Stop service in the GTA, more than doubling the number of trucks in the region. It is also piloting electric cargo bikes and urban self-serve parcel lockers in Toronto’s downtown.

Additional regional expansions will be announced across Canada over the next 12 months.

About Purolator

Purolator Inc. is a leading integrated freight, package and logistics solutions provider in Canada. The 60-year-old firm is focused on sustainably positioning itself for future growth and success.

Purolator is also committed to contributing to the well-being of the communities it serves and where more than 12,000 of its employees live, work and play.

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