Canadians are being urged to get a headstart on holiday shopping, with Canada Post expecting “a holiday season like no other.”
Earlier this year, the postal service says that it entered Christmas-like levels around the spring and summer. And now, Canada Post says that shopping early will be a key to everyone’s success.
“Canadian shopping habits have changed so much, everyone is doing a lot more shopping online,” Hayley Magermans, Canada Post Spokesperson tells Daily Hive. “Obviously we’re seeing a huge increase in parcel volumes, especially at times of the year that we’re really not used to it.”
Magermans notes that earlier in the spring and summer, Canada Post reported volumes similar to what they would see during the holidays — something that the company “plans for an entire year in advance.”
“I think last holiday season we were delivering two million parcels a day across the country,” she says. “We were seeing those numbers in early spring.
When asked about how many packages the company expected to see moving into peak holiday times, Magermans said that there was no way to tell, adding that this holiday “doesn’t fall in line with any other year.”
Canada Post most often sees surges in parcels and packages right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as well as the week before Christmas. Magermans says that if that were to happen this year, there’s a chance the company could be overwhelmed.
“There is a chance that it could overwhelm capacity and could potentially cause delays,” she explains. “We want to avoid that at all cost, that’s why we’re really encouraging Canadians to start their shopping early.”
“Shopping early is going to be the best way that anybody can really make sure that everything is getting where it needs to be on time.”
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And while it’s less than halfway into November, Canada Post has yet to see a spike in demand — and the company is hoping it stays that way.
“We haven’t seen a spike yet and, hopefully, that means people are slow and steady and doing their Xmas shopping already,” says Magermans. “If they continue that way, we’re in a good spot.”
Canada Post has already updated its holiday deadlines for guaranteed delivery, with dates spanning from early to mid-December based on how far the package is going and on whether the shipper pays for regular, express, or priority shipping.
When it comes down to how customers can save money around the holidays, Magermans says that “the easiest way is not to wait until the last minute to send your items.”
“It only gets more expensive and it only gets more stressful for the person shipping the items as well, which is something you really can’t put a price tag on.”
Approximately 4,000 temporary seasonal workers have also been hired for the holiday season, although the company stresses that safety remains a top priority. Those receiving mail are also asked to “give employees space while delivering,” which includes maintaining proper physical distancing and keeping pets secure.