UPS Canada : The Ultimate Journey

Scarlett BurkeRachel Carr
Scarlett Burke - Head of Projects Rachel Carr - Junior Editor
At A Glance
  • UPS Canada offers a wide range of domestic and international shipping and logistics services, including freight forwarding, customs brokerage, supply chain solutions, and healthcare logistics.
  • In 2024, UPS in Canada introduced residential ground delivery on Saturdays in major Canadian cities through its UPS Standard service, which offers economical, day-to-day shipping.
  • With nearly 50 years of delivering quality service, the company has much to look forward to, with sustainability initiatives, women in business programs, and the implementation of its new Saturday residential deliveries with its UPS Standard service.
  • "With technology as our ally, we are confident in our ability to upgrade and enhance our services to benefit our customers and deliver seamless high-visibility shipping and tracking," says Stephanie Dexter, President, UPS Canada.
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As trusted trendsetters in end-to-end package delivery solutions, we unwrap what makes UPS Canada stand out in a competitive market with its President, Stephanie Dexter.

THE ULTIMATE JOURNEY

In a global logistics industry that is expected to exceed $16 trillion by 2032, UPS’s iconic brown trucks have become a familiar sight on streets worldwide.

UPS’s Customer First, People Led, and Innovation Driven business strategy helps to move the world forward by delivering what matters across more than 200 countries and territories.

From its humble beginnings in 1907, UPS has grown to become the world’s largest package delivery company. Innovation has been central to the UPS fabric for more than a century, and today, it is foundational to the company’s business strategy.

In 1975, UPS made its first international expansion into Canada. It is now an integrated provider of air and ground pick-up and delivery services throughout the country, with Stephanie Dexter, its first female President, leading a team of about 13,000 employees across 67 facilities and seven air hubs.

UPS Canada offers a wide range of domestic and international shipping and logistics services, including freight forwarding, customs brokerage, supply chain solutions, and healthcare logistics. Its advanced global logistics system provides ground, air, and ocean services, utilizing a ground fleet of over 3,000 vehicles.

It serves clients of all sizes in various industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and automotive. Its diverse client base includes large enterprises, big retailers, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and micro-businesses selling on eBay, Shopify, and Amazon.

A RAPIDLY CHANGING CANADIAN COURIER INDUSTRY

The courier industry in Canada has been experiencing rapid growth with urbanization, population growth, and the rise of e-commerce and online shopping.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated an already rising trend, putting even greater pressure on the logistics and courier industry to offer fast and free deliveries. However, UPS remained agile and resilient, challenging the status quo and reimagining how logistics can bolster businesses of all sizes during challenging times.

“Fluctuations in the economy, such as rising inflation and reduced purchasing power, can significantly affect the industry. Nevertheless, UPS Canada has proactively positioned itself through strategic investments, a diverse product portfolio, and a robust network to effectively navigate these turbulent times,” introduces Dexter.

“In a time when our economy is slowing, what keeps businesses competitive in today’s evolving environment are free trade agreements that strengthen economic integration and robust supply chains.

“With the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), and thanks to the Government of Canada, Canadian businesses are seeing major wins,” Dexter emphasizes.

Since these agreements were established, we’ve seen more opportunities for businesses to expand internationally, less red tape at the border, and more efficient customs procedures to keep trade flowing and packages moving across borders.

The upcoming scheduled joint review of CUSMA in 2026 offers an opportunity for the three trading partners to maximize business competitiveness across North America. 

“This is an exciting time for transportation and logistics. Overall, I would say there is still much potential for growth and innovation in our sector. We are constantly evolving and adapting to find new ways to improve for the future,” she notes.

Around 95,000 small businesses open in Canada each year, which all rely upon logistics, supply chain, mapping, and delivery and return solutions. Therefore, partners such as UPS are needed to help them get started, succeed, grow, and reach international markets.

“The market is ever-changing, and consumers have spoken – they want more choice, convenience, and speed. We also see e-commerce sales in Canada continue to grow, and meeting the weekend delivery expectations of customers has become an essential part of our retail business strategy,” Dexter observes.

UPS LEADS THE WAY

In a busy and changing world, UPS Canada and international business operations have evolved to introduce new services to satisfy customer expectations that were advanced by e-commerce. 

In 2024, UPS in Canada introduced residential ground delivery on Saturdays in major Canadian cities through its UPS Standard service, which offers economical, day-to-day shipping.

Launched in the Greater Toronto Area, customers who normally receive their residential deliveries on a Monday will now receive them on Saturday. As of March 2024, the service is available in Montréal, Laval, Calgary, and Greater Vancouver. Once fully implemented, the majority of Canadian addresses in metropolitan cities will be eligible to have packages delivered on Saturday.

“This service is an industry first in Canada; we are the first globally integrated national carrier in the country to offer Saturday residential ground delivery as a general service offering. Canadian and US businesses have a great new way to create growth by serving customers with our Saturday residential delivery service.

“It is available to all customers of eligible origins without an extra charge or special contract,” explains Dexter.

The development is a game-changer for businesses and consumers, as those who would otherwise receive their delivery on a Monday will now get it two days sooner. This means packages addressed to residential addresses and shipped within one or two days of transit from a designated Saturday delivery area will be eligible.

This is true for transborder packages as well, with select US transborder shipments into Canada also eligible for Saturday delivery.

“We are excited to see the positive impact this service will have on our customers’ growth,” says Dexter.

It is an exciting time for UPS in Canada as the company is working on several projects to improve its customer service and enhance its operational efficiency and network in major cities across the country.

“In 2020, we opened Canada’s largest sorting and delivery facility. Our flagship 850,000 square foot (sqft) facility in Caledon, Ontario, features advanced scanning and sortation technology that increases efficiency and reliability for our customers in one of the country’s fastest-growing provinces,” details Dexter.

The fully automated Caledon facility sorts up to 35,000 packages per hour and houses a fleet of more than 240 cars, including 10 electric vehicles (EVs). Paired with the Caledon hub, UPS Canada opened its 187,000 sqft facility in Ajax, Ontario, which will be fully operational by the summer of 2025, with 140 package cars servicing the area.

Both facilities will provide additional processing and service capacity in the Greater Toronto Area.

“In addition to our expansion in Ontario, we are set to open another facility in Surrey, British Columbia (BC), in the summer of 2025. It will be a fully automated facility powered by state-of-the-art sorting and scanning technology,” reveals Dexter.

The 370,000 sqft facility will be capable of sorting 20,000 packages an hour and will have 240 local delivery vehicles.

“These investments and expansions are a testament to our company’s purpose of keeping the world moving forward by delivering what matters,” she states.

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

Outperforming and excelling require an exceptional team. When paired with significant investments to create seamless customer experiences and expand its network into high-growth areas like healthcare and innovative technology, UPS Canada customers take notice and the efforts are paying off.

“Our trusted Net Promoter Score – a metric that measures customer satisfaction – is improving at a faster pace than any of our key competitors for the most trusted brand in the industry in Canada,” voices Dexter.

What sets the company apart is a highly trained workforce that oils the wheels of a reliable integrated global network.

“Whether it is a local delivery or an international shipment, we have services that cater to businesses of all sizes across every industry, including healthcare.

“UPS has been in the healthcare business for more than 20 years, and we’re doubling down on our capabilities to meet the evolving needs of healthcare companies. We work with our healthcare customers to make their operations more precise, productive, scalable, and smart,” highlights Dexter.

UPS Healthcare is a leading healthcare logistics company, which offers full end-to-end logistics support to customers around the world. Its globally connected network of healthcare-dedicated facilities, powered by state-of-the-art digital solutions, ensures time and temperature-sensitive shipments are delivered with the utmost care. They also provide clinical trial logistics support and end-to-end lab logistics for kitting, distribution, and delivery, as well as temperature-sensitive storage and transportation worldwide. 

When UPS Premier was launched in Canada, this enabled customers to have end-to-end visibility for critical packages such as insulin. The technology utilizes priority lanes throughout the UPS network, which is crucial to ensure patient-critical products are delivered where they need to be, at the right time and at the right temperature.

“Healthcare expands beyond our small package business to UPS Supply Chain Solutions in Canada and supports the delivery of complex healthcare through cold-chain and temperature-controlled deliveries,” she tells us.

When you look at the future of healthcare, it’s all about innovations in biologics, specialty pharmaceuticals, and personalized medicine. These products make up most of the new products in development and are driving significant demand for precision logistics. UPS has and can support treatments from clinical trials right to the patient. 

“We’ve been investing to meet those needs for a long time, building out a ‘network within a network’ to ensure we provide the best quality, end-to-end service on the market. We are continuing to aggressively expand into some of the largest and quickest-growing healthcare markets in the world,” she sets out.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in 2020, it was no surprise that UPS had the network and capabilities to deliver vaccines throughout Canada. The company proudly delivered all supplies of the leading vaccine manufacturer COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

UPS customers are reaping the benefits of strategic investments that help streamline operations and increase efficiency, resulting in an enhanced experience.

“We continue to improve the digital experience and deliver the solutions our customers expect. We have several new products that will help improve customer satisfaction,” Dexter divulges.

UPS CANADA PARTNERS

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By Scarlett Burke Head of Projects
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Scarlett Burke is a Head of Projects for Supply Chain Outlook. Scarlett is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Scarlett is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Scarlett to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.