Briefing

Purolator to build ‘super hub’ in Toronto amid e-commerce growth

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The shipping company is investing $330 million to build a 60-acre distribution centre, which it said will triple its package-delivery capacity. It plans to invest a total of $1 billion to update its fleet and expand its distribution centres in the next five years to compete with e-commerce companies. (Reuters)

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Talking point: Canada Post, which owns 91 per cent of Purolator, has been leaning on its parcel business since letter delivery began plunging in 2007. It’s been able to coast on the uptick of online shopping to grow its package delivery arm, but competition in the space—which is dominated by Amazon through its Prime membership program—is now rapidly heating up. Last week, Shopify announced plans to build warehouses across the U.S. to get its merchants’ products to customers within two days. Target and Walmart likewise have their own Canadian fulfillment centres to expedite deliveries. While some e-commerce orders still use local couriers like Purolator to deliver goods, some, including Amazon and Walmart, are building their own fleets. That means any third-party couriers hoping to stay in the delivery rotation for those firms will need to be equipped to meet the expectation for one- or two-day delivery.