Home Organizations & Associations Canada Post People flocking to Canada Post for holiday season

People flocking to Canada Post for holiday season

To help the lines move faster, everyone is asked to Be Kind and Be Prepared.

Friday December 11, 2020 | NATIONAL

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., editor | Island Social Trends

Canada Post is experiencing an unprecedented number of transactions at post offices across the country as Canadians look to safely connect with loved ones through the mail this holiday season.

The demand has come from a significant increase in customers dropping off parcels for shipping to family and friends or purchasing stamps for greeting cards. As well, a growing number of small businesses are bringing in packaged orders to be shipped to their customers.

Holiday parcel volumes started a least a week earlier this year (around November 22), says Valérie Chartrand, media relations, Canada Post. She expects heavy peak levels to continue until Christmas.

expedited, parcel, Canada Post
Canada Post will be processing parcel deliveries right up until Christmas in 2020.

“Mondays are our busiest days,” said Chartrand. Outside the holiday period, a typical Monday seems around 1.4 million parcel deliveries. Compare that to Monday of this week (Monday December 7) where parcel volume had spiked to 2.25 million.

Processing of parcels will continue right up to Christmas, says the Canada Post rep, but customers may experience some delays.

Long lineups:

The rapid spike in activity at the post office, combined with key safety measures such as physical distancing, means line-ups are often a reality.

Post office employees understand the importance of each item and are working hard to serve customers as quickly and safely as possible. It’s important to note that some transactions are more complex, such as international parcels, and therefore take longer to process.

Doing your part to speed things up:

Canada Post offers the following tips to help the lines move faster:

  1. In the spirit of the season, please stay patient, be kind and keep the post office friendly. Ensure you wear a face covering and respect all safety measures, such as physical distancing.
  2. Purchase a flat rate box from any post office and ship up to 5 kg anywhere in Canada. They’re easy to address and can be dropped off at a post office or in any red street letter box.
  3. If using your own box, please properly package and clearly address it before heading to the post office. Tips are available at canadapost.ca .
  4. For international items, fill out customs form online in advance at canadapost.ca before dropping off your package.

Ramping up to deliver:

Canada Post has fully implemented plans to scale up and stay safe while responding to the heavy holiday parcel volumes this holiday season.

“We’re processing mail and parcels around the clock to respond to the increase in demand,” it was stated in a news release yesterday. “Even with additional resources, there is a limit to how much we can safely process and deliver. Customers may experience delays.”

“Setting shipping deadlines for parcels and cards is part of preparing our annual holiday peak season plans, which we do all year-round,” says Valérie Chartrand, media relations, Canada Post. “The dates vary based on destination (local, regional and national).

Beefing up the workforce:

• Added more than 4,000 temporary seasonal employees, increased fleet by more than 1,000 vehicles and added key equipment.
• Delivering on weekends in many communities, added more Parcel Pickup locations and hours at many post offices have been extended.
• Working with major customers to manage demand, improve the flow of parcels within the Canada Post network and encouraging Canadians to shop early.
• Implemented physical distancing in all aspects of operations and face coverings are mandatory in all Canada Post facilities.

Buy stamps online at CanadaPost.ca:

If you want to avoid the post office lineup just to buy stamps, there is an online shopping portal for stamps. But if you want stamps for Christmas cards, you’ll possibly not receive them in time.

MapleLine Business Centre, printing, west shore
Small-run printing — cards and flyers. Round corners on things. Call 250-217-5821 for service in the west shore area.

Mailing deadlines:

Lettermail is processed on separate and dedicated machinery, and is less bulky and therefore easier to deliver than parcels. And while parcel volumes have increased this year, mail volumes have declined, says Canada Post. So the deadlines for mailing letters are safe in being pretty close to Christmas this year.

Local: Cards being sent locally and regionally should be mailed by December 21 in order to reach recipients before Christmas. For national delivery, mail those by December 18. For packages and parcels, the local regular delivery deadline is December 18, or December 21 if you’re prepared to pay more.

Regional: For regional delivery of packages, get those parcels to Canada Post by December 15-17.

National: For national delivery regular parcels should be processed at the post office during December 9-16. If you dare, ExpressPost can be posted by December 18, or if you’re really a risk-taker go for the December 21 Priority deadline.

See mailing and shipping deadlines.

Canada Post, holiday season services, 2020
Other services by Canada Post during the 2020 year-end holiday season.

Oh yeah, if you’re writing to Santa and expecting a reply, sorry to say that deadline was December 10. But you can order custom stamps anytime.

Patience in the lineup during COVID:

Canada Post says they are processing and delivering heavy holiday parcel volumes. “Customers may experience some delays as we put safety first during COVID-19.” Click here for more info.

OakTree Naturals, Langford, COVID-19 hours
OakTree Naturals open Monday to Saturday during COVID-19.