Canada Post says start Christmas shopping now to avoid delivery delays

Oct 8 2020, 3:24 pm

It’s still early October, but Canada Post is already advising people to plan ahead when it comes to their Christmas shopping this year – particularly if they plan to do it online.

“Canada Post is planning for a Christmas season like no other,” the corporation said in a statement. “The rapid escalation in demand for parcel delivery is expected to continue into the holiday season and beyond as more Canadians plan to do their shopping online.”

Canada Post noted that a survey conducted on its behalf showed 48% of Canadian shoppers plan on spending mostly or exclusively online this coming holiday. As well, 54% were open to begin shopping in October or early November.

“With the expected volumes, the addition of a traditional holiday parcel surge has the potential to overwhelm capacity and cause significant delays,” the corporation said.

To tackle this “surge” in demand, Canada Post said it is “enacting a comprehensive 2020 Holiday peak season plan,” which includes the following:

  • Adding more than 4,000 temporary seasonal employees, increasing their fleet by more than 1,000 vehicles, and adding key equipment.
  • Delivering on weekends in many communities and adding more parcel pickup locations (and hours at many post offices will be extended).
  • Enhanced tracking technology to provide customers with improved information as they follow the progress of their parcels.

“Canadian shopping habits have dramatically and permanently shifted in response to COVID-19, resulting in a year of significant parcel volumes,” said Canada Post.

And even with plans to upscale, add capacity, and work with customers, “a traditional holiday parcel surge combined with unprecedented volumes could overwhelm our capacity to process and deliver across the country,” the corporation said.

Typically, the bulk of holiday parcels arrive in a short-term surge as Canadians do most of their online shopping within a short window close to the holidays.

As such, and “to help Canadians avoid disappointment,” Canada Post said it is asking people to “break with tradition and shop early this holiday season.”

By doing this, customers “will help to spread out the expected demand and avoid a Christmas capacity crunch.”