President, UPS Canada
Thrust into our second month of forced confinement as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has upended everything we too often take for granted, I’m struck by our collective resilience and ability to adapt. Perhaps most inspiring, despite this unsettling “new normal,” an attitude of gratitude is quietly emerging.
As a global leader in logistics with deep roots in Canada, UPS Canada is in a unique position to see this firsthand — in our sorting facilities, distribution hubs, warehouses, and delivery routes all across the country.
Perhaps most inspiring, despite this unsettling “new normal,” an attitude of gratitude is quietly emerging.
With people putting out baskets with snacks on their porch, leaving gift cards for drivers to purchase coffee, and sticking thank you notes and drawings on their front doors, our network of dedicated employees are profoundly moved by displays of support and kindness.
Because while the movement of people has been severely restricted — if not completely halted as is the case with domestic and international air travel — the movement of goods has never been more vital.
Whether it’s critical medical supplies that need to reach front-line health care workers, care packages to friends and family in need, or that online “pick-me-up” purchase to get through these challenging times, the isolation has brought us closer together in many ways.
Small business owners heavily impacted by the crisis are once again demonstrating ingenuity and tenacity to fuel their entrepreneurial spirit. And we’re happy to support them with business solutions to meet their evolving needs.
One month ago, Evelyne Nyairo was running her all-natural skincare business, Ellie Bianca, as a one-woman dynamo who came to Canada from Kenya on her own at the age of 16. Staring down adversity and with a renewed sense of purpose, she used her training as an environmental scientist and chemist to produce hand sanitizer — building new connections between her suppliers, her customers, and her Calgary-based operations along the way.
With life being transformed a bit more every day, the definition of an “essential service” has evolved considerably. My heartfelt thanks go out to Canada’s frontline health care workers — and those supporting them behind the scenes — along with the selfless men and women working in emergency services, the scientific community, foodservice, civil servants, and those who hold public office. We thank the government for considering us as an “essential service.”
As concerned citizens, we long for signs that things will get better. Maybe the first glimpse of spring weather, catching up with friends and family on a video call, or enjoying an outdoor barbecue will help turn the emotional tide.
At UPS Canada, we’re fortunate to be operating at full capacity. While it’s not business as usual, we’re proud to do our part to keep the economy moving, people working, and Canadians hopeful.
While it’s certainly sobering to watch news reports on the spread of the novel coronavirus and its impact on human interactions, I can tell you the feedback I’m getting from our drivers, from St. John’s to Victoria, has been consistent: the generosity, empathy, and humanity of Canadians are what truly move us.