Manitoba

Cross-border parcel pickup service thriving during pandemic

The influx in demand for one parcel retrieval service can be attributed at least in part to a sharp increase in online orders over the last three months.

Business expected to lay off staff, but demand boomed after international border closed

Mike Caners of Runnin’ Red, a cross-border courier, unloads packages from Emerson in their warehouse in Winnipeg. (John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

Last year, Vanessa and Mason Peters bought Mike's Parcel, a business in Pembina, N.D., that essentially functions as an American address for Canadian residents looking to ship and store everything from T-shirts to car parts to motorcycles while avoiding international charges.

"We weighed all the possibilities, and in jest, we said the one thing that would be the worst-case scenario would be if the border closed," Vanessa Peters said in an interview.

"At the time, we all just laughed. But here we are."

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