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Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian transportation. This week: Drone Delivery Canada unveils ops center and pricing, transport employment declines and Prince Rupert gets more than C$150 from feds.

Drone Delivery Canada (TSXV:FLT) moved closer to launching full commercial operations, unveiling a new operations center that it said will be able to manage up to 1,500 aircraft. 

A Drone Delivery Canada drone. Photo: Drone Delivery Canada

The company, which has a partnership with Air Canada, also revealed pricing: a licensing fee of around C$10,000 per drone per route per month. (The Canadian dollar equals US$0.76)

Using the company’s projections, the single operations have the potential to generate C$180 million in recurring revenue per year. That would assume full utilization, and doesn’t consider Air Canada’s cut.

The operations center is located in Vaughan, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. CEO Michael Zahra said it was the first of its kind globally. 

Employment drops in transport and warehousing 

Employment in Canada’s transportation and warehousing sector record a modest decline in August.

Statistics Canada’s August Labour Force Survey recorded a 0.6 percent decline in the sector, to which trucking is the largest contributor. The decline of around 6,660 jobs, however, fell within the survey’s margin of error. 

Ontario, the sector’s largest job market, posted a 0.1 percent gain. The biggest drops happened in British Columbia (2.3 percent), Quebec (0.8 percent) and Alberta (0.4 percent). A factor in British Columbia could be closures of sawmills. 

The small drop follows a 1.4 percent decline in July. At the time, TD economist Brian Depratto commented that a modest correction in transport and warehousing seemed normal because of recent gains.  

Employment in transport and warehousing remains strong year-over-year – up 4.2 percent.

Prince Rupert getting more than C$150 million in federal investment

The Canadian government announced more than $C150 million in funding for the Port of Prince Rupert, adding to an increasingly long list of recent investments in the areas of transportation, trade, and infrastructure. 

The funding announced on Sept. 6, will go toward three projects aimed at building capacity at the British Columbia port. 

Also in the province, the federal government announced 15 million in funding to build a vehicle inspection station off Highway 37, near Terrace. 

The latest funding announcement comes ahead of October’s federal elections. 

Rush expands dealership network with Archer acquisition

Rush Truck Centres of Canada has acquired Archer Truck Services, adding two truck dealerships in southern Ontario. 

The acquisition was announced on Sept. 4. With the Archer dealerships in St. Catharines and Welland, Rush Truck Centres now has 16 dealerships and six associate dealerships in Ontario

“This acquisition aligns with our strategy to grow and expand our geographic footprint throughout Ontario. says Kevin G. Tallman, Chief Executive Officer of Rush Truck Centres of Canada.