Current Courier Conditions


In a word, competition.

If you sell products to businesses or the public, your business is engaged in the most lopsided battle since David vs. Goliath faced off.

CompetitionGiant corporations (we’re not going to name names here, but we all know who they are) offer well-priced goods with ridiculously short delivery times. While everybody knows that these big companies can’t offer the same level of personalized service that a smaller enterprise does, often this advantage is outweighed by the promise of lightning quick order fulfillment.

You can fight the giants, with the help of a third-party logistics provider (3PL). 3PLs offer warehouse space, shipping, and even Pick and Pack logistics services on a scale that most small businesses simply cannot afford, because they consolidate their logistics service for many small businesses under one roof. Your operation doesn’t have to lay out the massive capital required to establish and staff a location in a region where you need a distribution centre. You partner with an expert, and pay only for the space and services you need, when you need them.

3PLs have access to services and prices that are unavailable to smaller enterprises, because they buy with the advantage of scale. They also have established Transportation Management and Inventory Control solutions that you can access, without the capital and development costs associated with doing it in-house.

At Sierra Courier in Winnipeg, we’re positioning ourselves as an ideal third party logistics provider. We have the warehouse space, the labour force, the control systems, and the expertise to provide you exemplary service. And we have the most important thing you need in your fight with the big guys – a desire to see scrappy Canadian small and mid-sized businesses succeed. You worry about your products, and we’ll worry about getting them to your customers.

Air TransportWhile not nearly as serious as the disasters in the Wesley Snipes film featuring airborne snakes, passengers and crew were surprised to find their October 2nd flight from New York to Charlotte, North Carolina delayed by the discovery of a significant number of crabs in the cargo hold.

The crabs, which were relatively small, had escaped their shipping container, and were wandering about the hold. While the exact quantity of fugitive crustaceans is unknown, a US Airways was quoted as saying there were “a lot of them”.

At Sierra Courier, we’re not strangers to strange cargo. Remember the story of the flying bull**it? Or the time we delivered Ram testicles? Here’s a list of the top five strangest items we’ve ever delivered.

We pride ourselves on customer service, and unlike some other courier companies, we look at each client’s request on an individual basis, and if it’s possible to help out offering an innovative or specialized solution, we’ll do it. Whether your destination is down the street in Winnipeg, or anywhere else on the globe, you can count on us at Sierra Courier to do our best to get it there.

Flight 890 was only delayed by about thirty minutes, as airline personnel scrambled to sweep the crabs from the cargo hold and send the plane on its way. There’s no word on the origin of the shellfish, how they got out of their shipping container, or their fate once evicted from the cargo hold.

Cross Border ShippingIn-transit shipments between destinations in Canada or the US used to be the norm. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, however, the borders tightened up significantly, and new security measures came into effect that changed the rules.

What is an In-Transit Shipment?

In an in-transit shipment, the country of origin and the final destination are in the same country (making the shipment technically domestic), but the goods travel through the other country without being offloaded or consumed. Trucking firms can take advantage of this freedom to move goods through Border States where the geography and highway systems would work in their favour. Goods travelling from Toronto to Winnipeg could be driven across the US South of Lake Superior, cutting hours off the trip. Conversely, American companies would take advantage of the shorter route across the North of Lake Erie between Buffalo and Detroit.

Canadian Border Services never changed their in-transit shipment rules, which means that American domestic shipments can still travel freely on Canadian roads (a must for Alaska). Canadian shippers, however, have had to perform complicated record keeping as stringent as the security clearance required for international shipments when shipping to Canadian destinations across the US.

Recently, border officials from both companies hammered out an agreement that will once again allow in-transit shipments between Canadian destinations through the US.

We can expect the changes to be phased in starting in 2015, with a pilot project allowing a limited number of carriers to test the system.

What does this mean to Canadian Transport Companies?

Well, mostly good things. Costs will be reduced by allowing shipments through the US (shorter and better roads, lower fuel prices), but some of the infrastructure that is in place may need to be changed. At Sierra Courier, we expect that the new regulations will increase the demand for warehouse space in Winnipeg, as in-transit shipping will further solidify our position as the “gateway to Western Canada”.

The ability of your business to seamlessly fulfill customer orders is one of the key factors influencing the success (or failure) of your client relationships. As customers pay the bills, it’s pretty important that you fulfill their needs in a consistent basis. Your livelihood, and that of your employees, depends on your ability to do so.

3rd Party LogisticsIncreasingly, there is competition from large companies that have advantages over the average small or mid-sized enterprise. They own their own supply chains – their own conveniently located warehouses, fully staffed, Pick and Pack their orders into transportation systems that they own.

There’s an old saying about letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing. One of the big problems that small businesses face in their supply chain management is that their warehouse services and their shipping are provided by different companies. As a result, communications regarding last minute changes or delays don’t always happen in a timely manner, and delays in order fulfillment can result.

If you use a third party logistics provider, however, you’ll be leveraging their resources on behalf of your clients. Sierra Courier in Winnipeg offers a wide range of services in both warehousing and transportation, which means that a single call from a client will notify both of these key components in the supply chain. As a result, your order fulfillment will be more agile, and able to more readily meet your customers’ needs.

As a Winnipeg small business, Sierra Courier champions the cause of the little guy. We provide more than just encouragement, though. With our conveniently located Winnipeg warehouse, our expertise in order fulfillment, and our own transportation network, we give you to tools you need to compete with much larger businesses, without having to expend gobs of money on the capital needed to establish your own infrastructure. As Sierra, you pay for the services you need, when you need them.

The old saying that familiarity breeds contempt doesn't apply in the business world, where it's often the key to a long-term relationship. For many customers, companies and individuals alike, dealing with familiar faces breeds trust and assures reliability. It also alleviates the need to repeat standard procedures to someone different each time you've got a delivery to make.

At Sierra Courier, we understand that reliability, familiarity and accountability are important aspects of good business relationships. That's why we offer dedicated courier driver service. Your delivery and pickup services can be done each time by the same driver. Someone who is familiar with your company, products and delivery routes makes things go more smoothly. You won't need to explain details to someone new every week. Your driver is your driver.

If you've got payroll, bank deposits or other sensitive delivery needs, a dedicated driver service is the ideal solution to ensure that you're getting the accountability and reliability you require. And when your dedicated driver is busy and you've got another delivery to make, we'll take care of that too, no problem. Sierra Courier is the Winnipeg courier service that puts you in the driver's seat.