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.
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. All posts by Harry Rudolfs