Alumni leads courier service in delivering PPE to frontline healthcare workers

Monday, May 25, 2020

Purolator responds to Federal government call with pride & purpose

By Patty Mah, School of Accounting and Finance

shikha gandhi

COVID-19 has seen entire industries retooling their production to make personal protection equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers. With all the PPE that’s being produced, Purolator Canada was the logistics company selected by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Federal Government to deliver the PPE to hospitals across the country.

“The thought of delivering PPE to our frontline healthcare workers filled our staff with a sense of pride and purpose,” states Shikha Gandhi (MAcc ’04, CPA, CA), the Vice President Finance, Corporate Services for Purolator Inc.

"It’s a great Canadian story with the Federal government selecting Purolator, a Canadian owned and operated company to help deliver these critical medical supplies to all corners of Canada."

The ask came from the Department of Defense on a Friday evening and by Monday morning, Purolator’s leadership team had contracts signed and an end-to-end solution ready for deployment. In order to pull this together in less than 48 hours, Gandhi and her colleagues had to work cross-functionally, involving teams from legal, finance, sales, and operations, which included fleet, air cargo, warehouse and transportation specialists, to come together collaboratively. “Everyone was so engaged and there was a real sense of responsibility to ensure our frontline healthcare workers had what they needed to be safe,” says Gandhi.

The original contract from the Federal Government was delivery of 500,000 pieces of PPE across Canada, and has since turned into an on-going contract with Purolator having delivered 8 million, and counting, pieces of medical supplies. ppe masks

“The pride and purpose we all felt had us working cross-functionally to rally together to ensure that we were able to manage the volumes that the Federal Government was expecting to get the supplies to hospitals that really needed it and in very rural communities in some instances,” notes Gandhi.

Partnering with other Canadians to deliver PPE

Purolator was Trudeau’s top choice in delivering PPE. Purolator’s ability to deliver packages across all corners of Canada as well as their breadth of logistic networks far outreached any other courier company. It is for these same reasons that other organizations have partnered with Purolator to deliver PPE.

Hayley Wickenheiser’s Conquer COVID-19 initiative has also partnered with Purolator to move supplies from their donations centres to regions across Canada that need them. With so many manufacturing companies pivoting their traditional areas of focus into making PPE, Purolator was the natural choice for their existing manufacturing customers to rely on in ensuring that their supply chain continues to move in the delivery of PPE.

The work of delivering consumer goods from point A to point B can sometimes be a thankless job, but COVID-19 has proven that it can become a selfless act filled with pride and purpose.

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