Parcel carriers must boost their investments in assets, technology, and labor as they prepare to deliver record-breaking volumes of packages this holiday peak season, the Canadian courier Purolator Inc. said Thursday.
Toronto-based Purolator said it anticipates a jump of almost 10% in the number of parcels sent as Canadians continue to ship at unprecedented levels. That rise would produce a volume of over 54 million packages during the eight-week season between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24.
To handle the boom, the company will triple the number of contactless Quick Stop Kiosk drop-off and pick-up locations, add parcel lockers for 24/7 access at its busiest terminals, add over 15% more pick-up and delivery vehicles, and grow its worker count 15% by hiring more than 2,400 new employees across Canada.
Those steps mirror massive hiring booms being undertaken by retailers and carriers throughout the U.S., despite the challenge of sparse labor pools and low unemployment rates.
The explosion of e-commerce activity will flood those networks with activity. Purolator forecasts it will carry average 1.6 million packages per day during its busiest week of the year, which runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 5. And on Nov. 30, which is traditionally its busiest day of the year, the company expects to process 1.8 million pieces, which is over 20% more than in 2020.
"We expect e-commerce to climb again this holiday season and with a record forecast of moving 54 million packages across Canada, we are more prepared than ever to deliver even more stops," Purolator President and CEO John Ferguson said in a release. "The demand for shipping and transportation services remains high, with businesses working to put inventory on shelves as consumers head back into bricks and mortar locations, while the heightened online shopping habits evidenced throughout the pandemic remain strong."
Rolling out more Quick Stop Kiosk drop-off and pick-up locations, adding parcel lockers for 24/7 shipment access and hiring 2,400 employees are just a few of the ways we’ve prepared to pick up and deliver a record 54 million packages this holiday season!https://t.co/WtMD0ne63I pic.twitter.com/HPqPYnQh9j— Purolator (@PurolatorInc) October 14, 2021