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Current Courier Conditions

Shipping GiftsYour gift says something to its recipient. Maybe it’s “Thank You”. Perhaps “I Miss You”. Or maybe even “I Love You”. No matter what you intend to say, if your gift gets destroyed in transit, it will say, “I didn’t know how to pack this correctly.” At Sierra Courier, we move all kinds of items – from the everyday to the downright unique. We’ve moved live animals, human skeletons, and a planeload of poop. Whatever it is you’re sending, we can help you make sure it gets to the destination intact.

Packaging The key to having your item arrive at its destination is appropriate packaging. While we treat every package like it’s our very own, things happen in transit. The better care you take in wrapping your item, the more likely it is to survive. The choice of an appropriately sized outer box is important. This is the most protective part of the packaging, and it should not be too much larger than your item, but should be large enough to hold some internal packaging material (like rolled or shredded paper, polystyrene packing peanuts, corrugated cardboard, or foam sheets) that will prevent your precious cargo from smashing against the side of the box. You should wrap items that you can in enough paper or foam that you can’t tell what they are by feel, and loosely fill the “air” in the box with cushion to protect the gift in the event of a knock or drop.

Climate Control If you plan your item’s trip, it’s possible to keep the interior of your package at a temperature that will protect perishable goods from freezing or thawing, despite the harsh climate they may experience during transport. Chocolate gifts must be kept cool enough to survive prolonged periods in the hot sun on the tarmac. People successfully ship all kinds of perishable goods, including live seafood products by planning in advance. Make sure that whatever technique you’re using to keep your item cool will last at least 12 hours longer than the trip is planned to take. Some shippers use dry ice for refrigeration, but frozen gel packs are almost as effective, and far less hassle.

Communication Make sure you let us know about special items. We’ve got lots of experience in doing the nearly impossible, and we’ll be happy to share it with you. When you call Sierra Courier for a pickup, let the dispatcher know if your cargo has special handling needs. We’ll do our level best to accommodate and get the job done right, so your gift sends the intended message.

22 daysAs proof that you can send just about anything by courier, music star and actress Beyoncé has recently launched a company called 22 Days Nutrition that will provide delivered vegan cuisine.

The thinking behind the 22 Days concept is that it takes 21 days for a behavior to become a habit. By providing support over the first three weeks of lifestyle change, the company is aiming to change lives for the better.

All meals on the plan will be 100% plant-based, with no genetically modified ingredients. They’ll be gluten, soy, and dairy product free, as well as organic.

Beyoncé’s partner in the business is her long time trainer, Marco Borges, who has authored several books on exercise and diet, and is a big proponent of a plant-based diet. Delivery will take place once a week, on Fridays. Food will be shipped anywhere in the Continental United States in a reusable cooler box, kept at an appropriate temperature with frozen gel packs. Prices will range from $9.76 to $16.50, with delivery charges between $9.95 and $19.95

There are plenty of meal delivery services, but very few with the scope that Beyoncé’s company has. In the case of 22 Days Nutrition, it takes a small service and makes it potentially huge.

It’s great to see the impact that reliable courier service can have on people’s daily lives. Is delivery service something that your company could benefit from? Give Sierra a call, we’d love to help.

Small and mid-sized businesses, often lauded as the “engine that drives the economy”, are finding themselves throttled by Canadian inter-provincial trade restrictions and onerous record-keeping requirements.

Canadian BusinessDespite the restrictions, nearly three quarters of Canadian small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) do business with partners in other provinces, and more are planning to expand to do so in the next few years.

The impact of these restrictions is particularly pronounced in the Western provinces. Saskatchewan, for example, has been consistently topping the growth statistics for the past few years, and its many emerging businesses are finding restrictions that inhibit their business when working across Provincial borders into the rest of the country.

At Sierra Courier, we were very interested in a recent UPS Canada survey that looked at the state of SMEs in Canada. Alongside provincial trade restrictions, the following concerns were listed as impediments to their success: high staffing costs, and lack of talent and skills in the workforce, particularly skilled trades people.

As a company that’s actively involved in the supply chain business (we not only transport goods, but also provide warehouse services to a diverse set of clients, most of which definitely qualify as SMEs), we applaud recent proposed changes to legislation, both at the Provincial and Federal levels, that are going to make it easier for businesses to work across borders. When these businesses grow, they’ll need partners who can assist with all areas of supply chain management. Sierra Courier, with our network of transportation and warehousing services, is prepared to be part of the solution.

As the red tape disappears, look for more companies, small and large, to look to Winnipeg as a strategic point in the supply chains of many small enterprises. Sierra Courier has the location, and the infrastructure, to provide unique advantages to businesses that recognize these advantages.

Cost ComparisonSmall businesses are busy places. No matter what kind of operation you’re engaged in, it always seems like you are one step from disaster. There’s always a situation that requires a response – a customer request for something you’ve never really thought about doing before, a limited-time opportunity to bid on a new contract, or a need to move products or papers across town in a hurry.

As the proprietor of the business, you have a vested interest in “getting it done”. If something needs to be somewhere, you’ll just take it yourself, or get one of your trusted employees to take it for you. Sure, it costs you time and money, but it’s got to be cheaper than a courier service, right?

Well, maybe not. Once you factor in all the costs associated with you or an associate delivering something, you might find that you would have been much better off hiring a courier to do it for you. Here’s a list of the costs you incur when you do an emergency drop-off by yourself, or using your in-house staff.

1) Productivity Cost – You and your employees have a job to do. If you’re driving a package downtown in traffic, you aren’t doing your job, so somebody else has to pick up the slack, which takes him or her away from their job. Eventually, you’ll pay for the lost time in overtime fees, or by calling another employee in to cover.

2) Fuel and Mileage – Gas isn’t cheap, and wear and tear on a vehicle is a real factor. If you use your own car, it might come directly from your own pocket. If it’s an employee, you have to compensate them for it.

3) Parking – Especially with the ongoing changes to the parking regulations in the downtown, it’s getting more expensive to park in Winnipeg. And you certainly don’t want to risk a ticket or a tow.

4) Insurance – If you use a vehicle for business purposes, the cost of insurance goes up. If you use your vehicle for commercial purposes without the right insurance, you risk some stiff penalties, and could perhaps not have your costs covered in the event of an accident.

Once you figure in all the associated costs, it’s probably a lot more economical (and certainly easier) to call Sierra Courier to deal with a delivery, in-town or across the world. We’ll come to your office to get it, and guarantee that it will be where you need it to be, intact and in time.

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.