Purolator Courier opens centralized supply chain center
Purolator Courier has opened a new 106,000-square-foot global supply chain services facility just outside of Vancouver, Canada that the delivery firm hopes will cut distribution times, provide better supply chain visibility and get products to Canadian consumers quicker.
The new facility will function as a distribution hub, integrating Mississauga, Ontario-based Purolator's existing courier and freight distribution networks. The facility will coordinate such services as importing goods to Canada via a third-party ocean or air carrier, customs clearance, short-term storage of products awaiting distribution, pick-and-pack consolidation of orders for individual customers and direct-to-store distribution through Purolator’s courier and freight network across Canada.
Asian containerized exports to Canada, especially through the West Coast Port of Vancouver, have risen at an annual compounded growth rate of nearly 20 percent over the past decade. Eight of Vancouver's top 10 trading partners for 2006 were Asian nations on the Pacific Rim. Annual loaded container import volumes at the Vancouver port, including all trading partners, rose from just under 690,000 TEUs in 2002 to more than 1.1 million in 2006, according to port statistics.
“Canadian businesses are increasingly competing in a global and complex marketplace and require supply chain solutions that can provide them with a competitive advantage — whether that is in cost, efficiency or flexibility,” said Robert C. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Purolator.
The direct-to-store distribution model, the basis behind Purolator’s global supply chain service, allows customs-cleared imports to be unloaded at a near-dock Purolator deconsolidation center and reconsolidated into store or customer-specific shipments. Purolator claims overall transit times on shipments can be reduced by up to one week.
Purolator Courier, which since returning to Canadian ownership in 1987 no longer has any connection to the U.S. oil filter firm, is 94 percent owned by the crown postal corporation, Canada Post. With more than 12,500 employees, including 3,500 couriers, Purolator also operates Canada's largest dedicated air express moving 400,000 pounds of air freight each night. The firm, which reported $1.3 billion in revenue for 2006, moves more than 1.1 million parcels on an average day, a mix of 70 percent manufactured goods and 30 percent documents.