Logistics provider Purolator International has expanded its U.S./international territory with the opening of a new facility in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Purolator, which conducts extensive business in Canada, will offer through the new branch cross border logistics services for shipments between the U.S. Central region and Canada.
The Minneapolis facility is the centerpiece of an expansion plan for Purolator, which re-entered the U.S. market in 2001. Minneapolis marks the company’s fourth branch opening this year, along with facilities in San Francisco, Boston and Salt Lake City.
Shipping consult Gerard Hempstead, president of Hempstead Consulting, says it’s easy to conduct transborder movement from Minneapolis into Canada. But he doesn’t view Purolator as a threat to the top U.S. logistics providers.
“Purolator is the carrier in Canada,” he explains. “Everyone else is a second. UPS, FedEx, and TNT compete with Purolator.” Canada is the largest trading partner of the U.S, but from a logistics standpoint, Purolator is concentrated in major market areas like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Regina and Quebec City, Hempstead adds.
Purolator has struggled to expand its niche here in the U.S. since DHL exited domestic deliveries in January 2009, Hempstead says. “Since then, Purolator has developed relationships with regional carriers and Minneapolis-St. Paul is an area which can bring expanded opportunities into Canada because of Best Buy, Target, Medtronic and other large corporations that have distribution operations there.”
Rob Martinez, president of shipping consultancy Shipware, says Purolator “is not really on our radar for our U.S-based clients.”
“We rarely see Purolator enter the competitive landscape, because they’re so specialized with northbound traffic that represents a very small volume of global distribution for our client base,” Martinez explains.
It’s always good to see alternative carriers providing services in the U.S., Martinez adds. “Competition is inherently good for business as it leads to innovation, service enhancement and pricing controls. This is especially true for the U.S. parcel market, dominated by two companies – UPS and FedEx.”