Call (780) 483-1199 Login or Sign Up

Warehousing a major force in the west

By the mid-'70s, the commercial warehousing division became a major force in the prairie market with 16 offices spread across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. IN 1975, the company formed MacCosham International Ltd. to supply brokerage and forwarding services to offshore orders from both of its divisions. When large multi-nationals, like Livingstone Terminals and Kuehne & Nagel, embarked on an aggressive campaign to dominate the Canadian public warehousing market in the 1970s through massive warehouse acquisitions, hacking prices in half and putting many independents out of business, MacCosham responded by hiring a national marketing team - one of the first of its kind in the Canadian industry. Concentrating on the domestic manufacturer or retainer that required service at almost every point along the Canadian distribution chain, the marketing team began to bring in new customers faster than the multinationals could take established clients away. By 1975 the team had developed a solid and diversified account base to support a growing distribution system. Branches were set up in three more eastern markets and on the West Coast by an innovative marketing scheme that was developed in 1979. MacCosham created a successful national sales arm by joining forces with four long-established warehouse companies in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Halifax.

By 1980 sales had soared past the $25-million level, pushing MacCosham into the mid-size business level.

Independence at last

The moving and storage company turned its attention to completing its coast-to-coast plan with the opening of nine offices in the West between 1980 and 1985. In 1986, when it brought 14 more branches on line in the Maritimes, Ontario and B.C., for a total of 37 outlets, MacCosham decided to end its association with Allied Van Lines and became the first independent van line based in Canada. After decades of determined effort, MacCosham finally realized its goal of "one company, one carrier, coast-to-coast" ensuring complete control over equipment, branch facilities and personnel and the opportunity to provide the finest service in the nation.

But national coverage wasn't quite enough in a business world that was becoming increasingly international in scope, particularly with the prospect of a U.S. free trade deal and the threat of a de-regulation on the horizon. To ensure itself a place in the coming global market, MacCosham decided to merge with the Burnham Service Corporation in 1987. Through this merger, MacCosham had found a way to double the size of its operations and become one of the largest distribution networks in North America without a huge outlay of capital and without compromising the principles that were laid down by its founder 75 years ago.

Vic MacCosham passed away in 1959, but if he were alive today he would most certainly be proud of what his people have accomplished and how they attained their goal. They have not only preserved his good name by flying the MacCosham flag coast-to-coast, but they have built a strong, vibrant company that is known for its uncompromising dedication to integrity in business.

 

 

Reprinted from "MacCosham Van Lines turns 75," published in Alberta Report, January 9, 1989.
The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.