TTI + Purolator
Cross-border solutions have been a part of Purolator’s offerings for over 25 years, and increasingly, we’re seeing more U.S.-based businesses come to us to get their products into Canada. To learn how cross-border shipping benefits our partners, we spoke to Craig Baxter, President of TTI Canada, about his experience.
Craig helped to bring the North American division into Canada 15 years ago, and now he’s successfully leading TTI Canada. Alongside Craig, we spoke with Janice Amenta, Director of Operations for the Milwaukee division of TTI. Janice has worked for the company for 30 years and has played an intrinsic role in carving out their partnership with Purolator.
The story of TTI
Founded in 1985, TTI is a global power tool and floor care manufacturer. TTI houses multiple brands, including Milwaukee Tools, Ryobi and Hoover. TTI owes its growth to innovative solutions, such as using advanced battery technology for cordless products. They also focus on creating cost and labour-saving processes, while improving overall product performance. Since bringing TTI into Canada, the business has grown significantly year over year – from around 30 employees 13 years ago, to well over 500 employees at present time.
TTI, a global power tool and floor care manufacturer.
Finding a reliable shipping solution for Canada.
For the first few years, TTI had a distribution centre in Scarborough, Ontario, to facilitate Canadian shipments. This distribution centre has since closed, and now all northbound shipments originate from Olive Branch, Mississippi, in the U.S. The challenge began when they recognized their U.S. delivery partners didn’t have the capabilities to deliver to Canadian customers through their own assets. This meant their cross-border shipping solutions were fragmented – third parties were being used to get their shipments into Canada, which created serious bottlenecks. Customers would be able to see the delivery up until it reached the border, but there was no shipment tracking available after it was handed to a third-party provider. In other words, customers (and TTI) wouldn’t have any insight as to when their shipment would be delivered.
Additionally, the third-party provider wouldn’t always be able to provide last-mile solutions. Products were sometimes delivered to a depot, not directly to the end-users. Or, they went to distributors who then had to pick up their products from the depot. The biggest challenge, though, was timing – Canadian customers could experience up to a three-week wait for their delivery, and this simply wasn’t good enough. Craig explained that when a contractor needs a tool, they need it right away. “The product that sells is the product that’s available,” he summarized.
Cross-border shipping made easy by Purolator.
TTI Canada’s high-quality products meant the business continued to grow despite experiencing logistical hurdles. Still, they identified that their current shipping process was limiting their potential growth. A better solution for shipping to Canada was needed – a partner that cared about quality and customer service as much as TTI did.
This is when TTI contacted Purolator. “We partnered with Purolator mainly because of the presence Purolator has in Canada. Plus, they were able to deliver our shipments to the last mile and not hand them off to a third-party carrier,” explained Janice.
At first, Purolator would help TTI with Canadian shipments that had already been transported into Canada. This partnership assisted with shipment visibility and last mile, but there were still opportunities to further streamline the deliveries. Occasionally, TTI’s U.S. delivery partner was late to pick up and transport northbound shipments from their Mississippi location, meaning shipments were late to be transported into Canada. To fix this, Purolator was given the responsibility for transporting the truckload shipments from the Mississippi distribution centre. Purolator was able to provide seamless daily departures directly from Mississippi, all the way to Toronto and Winnipeg. Soon after, Purolator started to transport Canada-bound LTL (less-than-truckload) and courier shipments, also.
TTI + Purolator. A shipping success story.
TTI now works with Purolator for all Canadian deliveries, directly from their origin in Mississippi. They’ve significantly improved visibility and last-mile delivery solutions, and – perhaps most importantly – they’ve considerably cut turnaround times when shipping to Canada.
Janice explained that, in some cases, Canadian-bound shipments have gone from weeks to days. “Transit times have gone from around 14 days down to – in some areas – four or five business days.” Plus, TTI’s customers now have visibility into their shipments from start to finish. Customers can log in to “Milwaukee connect” and track shipments for themselves – data is uploaded in real time.
Purolator provides TTI with solutions beyond their northbound transportation. TTI also uses Purolator to return shipments from Canada, back to Mississippi. “We’re currently working on streamlining this process even further. Customers will soon be able to go to our website and request their tools be replaced or repaired – they can use the TTI website, print a Purolator waybill and Purolator will transport the broken tool to the nearest service centre,” explained Janice. Additionally, TTI uses Purolator to get trade show displays from one city to the next within Canada. Purolator will hold things in their warehouses until it’s time to set up the next convention or trade show.
Craig summarized that TTI’s partnership with Purolator truly helps them to achieve their objectives. “I feel Purolator is a true partner for TTI. A partnership is a term thrown around all the time, and oftentimes is meaningless. With Purolator, I’ve always felt as though they truly had our best interests in mind, and strive to provide a cost-effective solution that very much helps us achieve what we are trying to achieve.”
I’ve always felt as though they truly had our best interests in mind, and strive to provide a cost-effective solution that very much helps us achieve what we are trying to achieve.
How Purolator could offer TTI streamlined cross-border solutions
Last-mile deliveries to customer
End-to-end shipment tracking
Much faster shipping times
No third-party handoffs
Shipping to Canada is simply easier with Purolator’s Canadian presence
“Purolator provides direct daily shipments carrying both courier and LTL, from Mississippi into Canada, with inductions into Toronto and Winnipeg. Our complete supply chain solution has been able to save TTI 3-10 days for their northbound shipments, and greatly improved their visibility – in turn, improving the customer experience significantly.”
Account Executive, Purolator Inc.