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June 25, 2019 5:00 PM, EDT

Purolator to Spend $759 Million for Faster Deliveries in Canada

Purolator

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Courier company Purolator Inc. will invest more than C$1 billion over the next five years to build a shipping hub in Toronto, upgrade its fleet and enhance its retail network in Canada to reach more customers.

“Today’s announcement is one of the most ambitious in our company’s history and will future-proof our business,” CEO John Ferguson said in a statement June 25.

The Canadian company, a unit of the country’s postal service, will spend C$330 million to build a 60-acre automated hub in Toronto, allowing it to deliver more packages quickly. Purolator, which delivered more than 25 million packages in 2018, said that the facility will triple its capacity and help it deal with higher volumes of deliveries during peak periods.

Purolator’s expansion in Toronto comes amid a booming demand for warehouse space in the city, as e-commerce players such as Amazon.com and big-box retailers such as Home Depot Inc. have been racing to deliver packages to customers quickly and cheaply.

Toronto had the lowest industrial property vacancy rate in North America in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to data from Colliers International.

Purolator, based in Mississauga, Ontario, will also use part of the money to add more than 1,000 new vehicles to its fleet over 2019 and 2020, and roll out its first fully-electric vehicles by 2020. It also will expand its mobile service, which allows customers to pick up packages from Purolator’s delivery trucks across the Toronto area.

The company also is testing a pickup locker service and electric cargo bikes to make deliveries in Toronto.