New CEO at Purolator–and he’s a trucker!

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I’m reluctant to write about Purolator since I waxed poetic about the board unceremoniously dumping Tom Schmitt back in 2012. At the time I was (and still am) wearing the dual hat of journalist and company driver. My blog raised some hackles in head office, so I’ve been laying kind of low for a few years, hoping to limp out of Metro West with a small pension eventually. Really I’m just one of the field hands, albeit a well-paid one. However, the new CEO, just appointed July 5, but evidently not announced yet (waiting for my invitation to the gala) is an interesting choice. (BTW, Globe and Mail, TorStar, National Post, you heard it first at Truck News).

John Ferguson comes to Puro via SCI Logistics where he was CEO and Prez and before that Schneider National Inc. where he managed the Canadian division. But the SCI connection might be a clue how he got this new job. SCI’s White Glove division was delivering the community mailboxes as fast as they were pouring the concrete pads during the push by Canada Post guru Depak Chopra to get rid of home delivery postal service. Evidently he’s young, got a trucking background and perhaps will take the national courier in a new direction. This means Patrick Nangle is gone after three and a half years of “transitional” work.

The appointment comes at a time when the post office of course is playing hardball with the union and volumes at Percolator are “through the roof,” according to one manager. As few of us know, Canada Post is the number one parcel delivery agent. A lot of uncertainty means rental trailers and alternate carriers standing by. All courier businesses must be seeing a spike as shippers are reluctant to have their product caught in the system should a lock out or strike occur. Strikes at Canada Post usually change shipping patters and this could be an interesting time for the new CEO.



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Harry Rudolfs has worked as a dishwasher, apprentice mechanic, editor, trucker, foreign correspondent and taxi driver. He's written hundreds of articles for North American and European journals and newspapers, including features for the Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Life and CBC radio.

With over 30 years experience in the trucking industry he's hauled cars, steel, lumber, chemicals, auto parts and general freight as well as B-trains. He holds an honours BA in creative writing and humanities, summa cum laude.

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  • Hi Harry. Just wanted to comment quickly about this post. I worked for Purolator for about 6-7 years (off and on). I drove for 3 years until I quit in June 2015. I have quite a negative opinion about how the company and my local depot were being run. It truly is a TOP-DOWN company who doesn’t give a hoot about employee opinions. Our meetings were not open to critiques. Any suggestions made were quickly brushed aside and never taken into consideration by management. During the layoffs in 2015, we had several meetings with the Regional Manager (which went terribly) who acted like a dictator rather than a manager.

    Anyway, if you have any thoughts, please feel free to contact me.

  • Harry. I really like your resume. It reminds of mine. I worked for Purolator and Canada Post for 30 years. You scooped the main media. I worked with John Ferguson and I found him to be intelligent and proactive. He knows the business.
    I am currently trying to educate customers on how to get the most out of courier services. Check out our site We help all shippers

    • Good idea to post this sight i did check it out and looking good if more people would be aware either using word of mouth is the greatest way to promote idea.
      I will spread the word.

  • Harry. How much real trucking experience does the new CEO have? Sitting in an office and walking around a terminal sure doesn’t qualify him as a ‘trucker’. Let us know when he’s out there in the snow and ice pulling doubles.

  • The Honourable John McCallum, our immigration minister wants to increase levels of applicants to fill labour shortages. Not to come off as anti-immigration, (here’s the but)…
    A. God forbid we create an enviable environment for the unemployed!! A desire to be professional, respected and acknowledged, I know, I’m a funny guy.
    B. Instead of well paid, trained, experienced, accredited professionals, we go for cheap. Oh goody, even more chaos on the asphalt, if that’s possible. Why not elevate our standards, not reduce them? Training should lead to apprenticeship, journeyman status, accreditation. Pride. Dream big or go home.

  • Probably the worst delivery company in Canada .
    Notified goods would be delivered on Thursday by 8pm unable to be more precise than that . By 9pm the goods hadn’t arrived ,a few minutes later received notification via tracking website that there was a problem with the truck . Goods were never dispatched . I waited around all day for delivery . No call , no email nothing .
    Contacted helpline next day told goods would be delivered sometime today they thought but no guarantee . Don’t know where the truck is , can’t contact the driver , just what can they do .
    For a delivery company the level of incompetence is staggering . I simply cannot imagine UPS or FEDEX carrying on like this . I have used both and found them to be very good .
    This company needs to upgrade their delivery ability , they should be able to give an approximate delivery time frame . They need GPS units in their trucks and they to be able to contact the driver
    All in all a shocking experience from Purolator hopefully I will never have to use their services again

  • The driver in our area, does not knock or ring door bell just leaves a slip to go to pick it up, we have a record and our door bell of when any one rings ,their is no record. After on the phone most of the day, and being told it will be delivered to day or to morrow, I received a phone call saying no truck to day or tomorrow so go pick it up. Good customer service! This is after staying in to take in the package. I called Dyon , they were assured it will be delivers by purlator to morrow, both Dyon and I have kept track of the time we both spent on the phone, with your customer service, some how I doubt it will be delivers to morrow due to the fact your driver is so lax, the record on your tracking bill could not be read or the district number, but fortunately Dyon was able to locate it on their records, how totally inefficient this service is, would not use or advise any one to use it.

  • I’m a little late to this party. I was searching on “how to contact John Ferguson” and happened on this piece.

    I managed to get about 10 words into C Walker’s submission (November 15, 2018 at 5:01 pm) and read no further.
    I have actually caught, in the act, the delivery person on their way back to the truck after they hung the “we attempted a delivery”. No package in hand, no doorbell rung, no knock on the door!

    Today, after checking the tracking info, it was found that “a delivery was attempted at 12:20 on Friday”…I’m sure you know the story from here.

    Let’s roll the video clip. I have security cameras that see the street and the front door VERY CLEARLY. Living on a very quiet street, it’s easy to pick out who is going past. There was no Purolator vehicle, no rental vehicle and all the vehicles that drove past were my neighbours.

    Any comments from anyone that wants to spin this into a story of anything less than a company that I’ll work hard at spitting on at any opportunity? John Ferguson, anybody home?