COMPETITION WATCH: UPS celebrates 30 years in Canada

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MISSISSAUGA, Ont.– To some, 30 years may represent a lifetime; to UPS Canada it’s just the beginning.

This week the courier company celebrates three decades in the Canadian market, and the company has come a long way since its first pick-up from Toronto’s Butterick Fashions Marketing Co.

When UPS Canada first opened for business on February 28, 1975, the company’s delivery fleet consisted of a single Checker cab, where deliveries were limited to downtown Toronto. Today, UPS Canada employs over 7,400 people in 54 facilities across the country, and serves every address in Canada, the United States and more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

This global reach has been made possible largely through the company’s continued investment in its air and ground infrastructure. “While it seems like yesterday, UPS Canada began its domestic air service nearly twenty years ago; a year after I started with the company,” recalls UPS Canada Director of Air Operations, Jim Fisher. “The company has evolved immensely, and by leveraging its increasingly sophisticated transportation network UPS helps customers streamline their operations and simplify international trade.”

In 2004, UPS Canada officially opened its first fully integrated import/export and air and ground operation in Vancouver, BC. Providing customers with enhanced pick up/delivery times, the facility was also designed to meet the demands of a growing economy driven by global trade.

Commenting on the key to the company’s continued growth, UPS Canada President Glenn Rice and 28-year UPS veteran states, “the strength of the company is our people each of our employees are the reasons why we’re here 30 years later. We stand by the practice of promoting from within; a philosophy that has enabled us to hold on to our most valued assets loyal and capable employees.”

A testament to the company’s philosophy of internal growth and hiring is Transportation Supervisor, Kent Ackland. Beginning his UPS career in 1978 as a service provider in Hamilton, Kent is one of UPS Canada’s longest-standing employees. During his 27-year career, Kent has held various management posts throughout Ontario and is currently based in Concord.

When asked what has changed the most during the last three decades at UPS, Kent responded, “Definitely the technology. When I started with the company, packages were tracked manually. I recall in 1989 we started scanning our volume; this is when we introduced automation and technology to our portfolio of service offerings. Today, UPS receives millions of online tracking requests on an average day.”

UPS delivers to every address in Canada and the United States and serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. UPS stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (UPS) and the company can be found on the Web at

UPS Canada Milestones
2004 UPS Canada opens its first air and ground operation at Vancouver International Airport facilities and an air facility at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, ON.
2003 UPS Canada launched UPS World Ease, a streamlined solution designed to reduce costs for businesses expanding overseas.
2002 UPS Canada introduced UPS Internet Shipping, enabling customers to ship from any Internet connected computer anywhere in the world.
1999 UPS Canada introduces UPS Connect offering customers the latest technology in shipping and tracking software.
1998 The 47,800 square foot UPS International Air Gateway opens at Hamilton Airport and is capable of processing 10,000 packages per hour.
1995 UPS offers complete customs clearance for all shipments into Canada.
1994 The company’s national Customer Service Centre opens in Moncton, New Brunswick.
1993 The installation of over 1,200 DIAD Vehicle Adapters across Canada is completed.
1990 UPS Canada expands into Nova Scotia.
1988 A major new facility, the Toronto hub, begins operations.
1987 Air service begins to and from Canada and the U.S.
1978 The first international deliveries cross the border to the United States.
1977 The name UPS Limited is changed to United Parcel Service Canada Ltd.
UPS Canada grows to 150 employees with a fleet of 26 package cars and 59 passenger cars.
1976 UPS Limited begins international operations to and from the United States through ports of Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York.
1975 UPS Limited begins operating in Metropolitan Toronto, using package cars only within the city’s limits. Packages for outside of Metro Toronto are transported in automobiles. Delivery vehicles being used at this time are Chevrolet Impalas with roof racks, checker cabs, and U-Hauls. The first recorded pick-up was 15 parcels from Butterick Fashions Marketing Co.

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