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WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 31, 2013, 08:43 PM

Parcel Pick Up is booming near the U.S./Canadian Border

Pembina, ND (WDAY TV) -- There's a fascinating but simple business that's booming along the U-S/Canadian border. Parcel Pick up.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ, WDAY

Pembina, ND (WDAY TV) -- There's a fascinating but simple business that's booming along the U-S/Canadian border. Parcel Pick up.

Countless Canadians are saving big bucks by shipping merchandise to U-S border towns, and driving to pick it up.

Mike Ohmann bought a hardware store in Pembina 20 years ago. Little did he know then it would evolve into something more than selling screwdrivers.

Mike Ohmann/Mikes Parcel Pickup: "Canadians have come right in and asked us for the service."

Parcel Pickup businesses like Mike's, serve as a destination point for merchandise from U-S companies that won't ship to Canada or have expensive shipping fees.

Ohmann "One to five days sent to our place and they can come pick it up and save a pile of money. "

Frank Hickling and his wife Linda drive down from Winnipeg on a regular basis to pick up products they bought on the internet.

Hickling/Winnipeg: Sometimes it's half or less."

Hickling says even with the price of gas he saves money.. And gets the product he wants.

Hickling: "We might have the option of six things at home you go online you can get 40 things to pick from."

Lynn Riddell/Manitoba Shopper: "Anything from amazon.com doesn't come to Canada so it's handier to come get it here."

The parcel pickup services make their money primarily by charging per package or by weight. Ohman has two warehouse full of Canadian orders ranging from tires to snowmobiles and even vitamins.

Mike Waldner/Manitoba Shopper: "You name it shoes hardware parts for machinery."

This niche business is even helping small border towns like Pembina keep other businesses going.

Ohmann: "We wouldn't be here in the hardware business for the last 5 or 6 years if we had not started this as a supplement to our hardware."

Ohmann is expecting things to get even busier with more and more people shopping online.

Pembina now has five parcel pick up businesses in town.

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