Canada Post unveils details of $200-million Richmond plant

An artist
An artist's rendering of the new Canada Post facility now under construction on Sea Island.
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A new $200-million Canada Post processing plant on Sea Island will play a key role in the national mail carrier's new e-commerce focus.

"With the growth of e-commerce, we are positioning ourselves as a strong and reliable link between Canada and the Far East," said Deepak Chopra, president and CEO of Canada Post, in a news release. "We will ensure Canada Post remains relevant in an increasingly digital economy, with more packages and fewer letters."

Federal Minister of State for Transport, Steven Fletcher, joined Canada Post officials and Mayor Malcolm Brodie at the construction site of the plant Thursday morning to unveil details of the Crown corporation's e-commerce strategy and the postal centre—scheduled to be operating in 2014.

Fletcher said the investment in the federal Crown corporation is aimed at strengthening Canada's "competitive position" in the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

The 700,000-square-foot Canada Post Pacific Processing Centre, on Ferguson Road, will become the third largest processing plant in Canada, handling all mail—parcels, packets and letters.

According to Canada Post, the fastest-growing sector of the delivery business is e-commerce—merchants shipping goods ordered online by consumers—while letter mail continues to decline.

A 2011 eMarketer study quoted by Canada Post suggests Canadians will spend nearly $31 billion online by 2015—double the current rate. Within Canada Post, volumes from its 20 largest e-commerce customers grew by 20 per cent last year.

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