FedEx set up shop in Mississauga 35 years ago


Published August 24, 2022 at 10:32 am

Thirty-five years ago, U.S.-based package-delivery giant FedEx Corp. expanded outside American borders for the first time to set up its new Canadian headquarters in Mississauga.

FedEx officials say back in 1987, Canadian consumers and businesses wanting to ship quickly both locally and around the world had few options.

That was until FedEx, the Memphis-based courier founded in 1971 and made even more widely recognizable globally by the 2000 Hollywood blockbuster Cast Away starring Tom Hanks, showed up north of the American border.

Canada was the huge company’s first international market, FedEx brass note.

“Instantly, Canadians had the world at their doorsteps,” FedEx officials said in a news release today (Aug. 24). “Fast-forward to today, FedEx Express Canada, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., is a critical component of the world’s largest express transportation network, relied upon to connect the Canadian economy to over 220 countries and territories. FedEx has shipped millions of parcels across Canadian skies and roads with speed, reliability and integrity, including some of the most memorable deliveries in Canadian logistics history.”

Tom Hanks in the 2000 Hollywood film Cast Away.

In the early days of its Canadian operations, FedEx employed just under 400 people across the country. Today, FedEx Canada boasts some 14,000 workers on Canadian soil, the company says.

Additionally, its operations are based out of 70 locations, supported by a domestic air fleet of 32 aircraft and ground fleet of roughly 5,000 vehicles—including a large e-bike fleet.

“For 35 years, FedEx has played a critical role in helping to move the Canadian economy with drive and purpose,” said Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada. “In doing so, we have built one of the country’s most respected companies and remain one of the most trusted employers in Canada. Our investments in Canada and Canadians are reflective of our belief in our country and our people’s potential.”

Company officials note that FedEx has provided more than just reliable delivery service of everyday goods, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a huge surge in e-commerce activity.

“Behind the scenes,” FedEx officials say, “the company has also played a critical role in many key Canadian events and milestones.”

They include:

  • COVID-19 response–FedEx Express Canada, along with Innomar Strategies, a specialty pharmaceutical services provider, was selected by the Canadian government to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to each province and territory, as well as many Canadian missions abroad
  • historic panda moves–when Canada was chosen to host giant pandas from China, FedEx Express Canada donated two charter flights to accommodate their arrival. Cited by many employees as among their most memorable and rewarding shipments, the first took place in 2013 and the second in 2018
  • creation of a retail alliance with Canadian businesses–the rise of e-commerce created a demand among Canada’s transportation and logistics industry for expanded brick-and-mortar solutions for consumers needing convenient drop-off and pick-up services. In response, FedEx entered into strategic alliances with some of Canada’s well-known retail brands such as Home Hardware, Staples, Super C, Metro, Kent and Penguin Pickup

With annual global revenue of $94 billion, FedEx Corp. employs some 550,000 people and aims to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040.

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