by Trevor Williams | October 6, 2011
Growing trade between the Southeast and Canada has prompted a delivery firm from the country to open a regional office near the Atlanta airport.
Atlanta was one of 30 U.S. cities Mississauga, Canada-based Purolator Inc. singled out for expansion this year based on strong links with its home country.
Purolator International, the American arm, helps U.S. firms streamline deliveries to Canada using the company's widespread air and ground network there.
"In many different industries, the South is still a low-cost area to do business in, so there are a lot of products that have final assembly or full manufacturing here ... that we are able to move to Canada," said James Fennell, the Atlanta branch manager.
Purolator ships all kinds of products, from electronics and auto parts to carpet and heavy machinery, Mr. Fennell said. Trucking partners take loads from Atlanta to Purolator warehouses in Buffalo, N.Y., and Detroit. Purolator trucks then move them into Canada.
Crossing the border is where Purolator's competitive advantage really kicks in, Mr. Fennell said. Since the 50-year-old firm specializes in Canada, it can reach the most remote areas of the country quickly. It also has a keen understanding of Canadian customs regulations, he said.
"Just focusing on Canada, we don't allow ourselves to say it was a customs delay when the package is delayed and that it's not our fault," Mr. Fennell said.
About $1 billion worth of goods cross the U.S.-Canada border each day. Georgia exports to Canada totaled $5.1 billion in 2010, more than twice the state's exports to China, the No. 2 market.
Mr. Fennell said Canadian buying activity in the U.S. has increased recently with the fall of the U.S. dollar against the Canadian dollar.
At full capacity, Purolator's Atlanta office will have 10 employees at its 10,000-square-foot facility.
Visit www.purolator.com for more information.