Purolator announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art facility in Toronto this week, the first of two gargantuan package sorting facilities its majority share holder, Canada Post Corp., plans to open in the city.

The Purolator facility, located in northern Etobicoke, measures a whopping 443,084 sq. ft. The second facility, which will service Canada Post itself, is located on Tapscott Road in Scarborough and will be an even larger 585,000 sq. ft.

When operating at full capacity, the Purolator facility is expected to process up to 700,000 parcels per hour, tripling the capacity of its previous facility. The company also says it has equipped the facility with innovative technology that can unload a trailer in 10 minutes -- 10 times the speed of manual efforts.

“Following the sharp rise in e-commerce and two years of unprecedented growth, the new state-of-the-art national hub is opening at a crucial time,” said Purolator President and CEO John Ferguson. “Pivoting off our history of innovation, our investment in this infrastructure and new technology is a game-changer. It provides greater flexibility to quickly move goods across the country to enable businesses and services in all sectors of the economy to thrive.”

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Indeed, over the past two years, Purolator says it has seen the volume of packages it processes increase overall by 15%, with a 40% increase in retail e-commerce volume. During peak shipping season, which begins on Cyber Monday, the company expects to process more than 1.5 million packages each day.

Purolator says it can accomplish this because the new facility, which will be the company's national hub, has redeveloped its sortation model. Using new technology, they'll segment parcels by size, weight, and dimension for faster processing.

“Innovation drives every business decision we make, and this is especially true as we work to modernize Purolator’s extensive network,” Ferguson said. “We can now increase our responsiveness and dramatically scale up or down to meet the need for industry-specific solutions and the demand for time-sensitive express shipments.”

But the new facility doesn't only focus on processing packages. It also features several amenities for employees, including a multi-faith space, a 6,500 sq.-ft cafeteria and patio, a wellness room, and a training centre. The facility also has increased safety features built in, such as guard rails and sensors, and ergonomic equipment.

In total, the Purolator facility cost $330M to build. The Canada Post hub, dubbed the Albert Jackson Processing Centre, is expected to cost another $470M, for a grand total investment of $800M. It is named after Jackson who is believed to be Canada's first Black letter carrier.

The facility will allow Canada Post to increase its capacity by more than 50% over the next seven years, and at full capacity, will be able to process more than 1 million packages per day. And with the environment in mind, it will be Canada Post's first zero-carbon building, earning the title of being the country's largest industrial project with a zero carbon building standard designation.