Ziing acquires Metroland Parcel Services from TorStar

Ziing looks to expand its Canadian delivery network with second acquisition this year.

Calgary-based last-mile delivery startup Ziing has acquired Metroland Parcel Services (MPS) from TorStar Corp. for an undisclosed amount. 

MPS was launched in 2020 to help compensate with increased e-commerce demands in the wake of COVID-19. 

The deal closed on February 20, less than a month after Ziing acquired fellow Calgary company HubTrotter Logistics. Ziing president and CEO Chris Higham said the acquisitions are part of its aggressive growth and expansion plans across North America. 

Ziing told BetaKit the acquisition adds 41 employees, 17 service partners, and hundreds of contractors under its umbrella. The Globe and Mail reported Ziing expects to deliver 30,000 packages per week and to double its revenue generation to $70 million this year.

MPS head Mike Banville will join Ziing as a senior leader in charge of its co-load ecosystem and distribution services.

Ziing offers dedicated delivery and distribution services across various industries including automotive parts, pharmaceuticals, groceries, agriculture, construction, dental, and eyewear. 

Ziing says it aims to minimize carbon emissions, noise pollution, and accidents by using environmentally friendly vehicles and software to help balance and calculate the carbon footprint of delivery loads. It offers a fleet that includes electric vehicles and drones, optimizes routes based on environmental impact, and allows for co-loading deliveries from multiple companies in the same shipment.

Ziing said existing MPS clients will now benefit from Ziing’s logistics solutions, including Ziing.ai, a generative artificial intelligence (AI) platform meant to assist drivers on the road and coordinate logistics. 

MPS was launched in 2020 by TorStar, owner of the Toronto Star, to help the business compensate for increased e-commerce demands in the wake of COVID-19. Expanding out of its roots as a newspaper delivery service, its first client was Toys “R” Us, and claims to now have an infrastructure that spans over 15,000 delivery drivers and eight warehouses in Toronto, with service also covering the maritime provinces. 

“Bringing MPS into the Ziing ecosystem gives our staff and clients something to be very excited about; a bright future filled with geographical and technological growth,” Banville said in a statement.  

TorStar has faced financial difficulties in recent months. As its liabilities exceeded $78 million, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in September and laid off 605 employees, and entered into debt restructuring in December. 

Higham told The Globe and Mail the restructuring was not a factor in acquiring MPS, and that talks had been in motion for most of the past year.

Ziing said it intends to expand across North America and approach unicorn status, a $1-billion valuation, within three to five years by reaching new clients and continuing with its “aggressive” acquisition strategy.

Feature image courtesy Ziing via LinkedIn.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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