Borderlands: CanadaNews

IKEA taps DHL for first outsourced distribution center in Canada

IKEA has opened a distribution center near Toronto, its first in Canada operated by a third party, DHL Supply Chain.

The Swedish retailer officially opened the facility in Kleinburg, Ontario, on Sept. 19, but it has been gradually scaling operations for the past two months. 

The 550,000-square-foot facility exclusively handles IKEA products destined for home deliveries. It takes capacity pressure off IKEA’s other Toronto area distribution center, in Mississauga, and positions the company to grow its e-commerce business in the region’s fast-growing northern suburbs. 

“It’s bringing us closer to our customers,” said IKEA Canada spokesperson Kristin Newbigging.

The 550,000-square-foot distribution center will exclusively handle home deliveries for IKEA. Photo: IKEA Canada

Deliveries from Kleinburg potentially shave about 20 miles from those coming from Mississauga. The difference in time can be more dramatic, considering the notorious traffic on the Toronto area’s 400-series highways.

Kleinburg is already paying dividends for IKEA and its customers by virtue of its location and improved capacity.

“We’re already seeing decreases in lead times,” Newbigging said.

Apart from improving the efficiency of preparing orders, the shorter delivery distances also result in lower carbon emissions, Newbigging said. 

Kleinburg marks IKEA’s fourth distribution center in Canada, including facilities in Montreal and Vancouver. 

While Kleinburg is the first outsourced distribution center for IKEA Canada, its U.S. counterpart has successfully done it, also in partnership with DHL Supply Chain.

“We can learn from them in terms of logistics,” Newbigging said.

Kleinburg won’t handle large incoming shipments, which will remain the domain of other facilities in Canada and the United States.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at