Crunch time for Canada Post as Christmas mailing deadline looms

With Christmas just over a week away, Canada Post is facing a greater-than-usual holiday crunch as Canadians are shopping online en masse with stores closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spokesman Jon Hamilton told 680 CJOB Canada Post has seen record volumes of mail and packages in recent weeks.

“It has been a Christmas season like no other, which is ending a year like no other. From March on, we have been incredibly busy as Canadians started shopping online,” he said.

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“As they shopped online more, they’d become very confident shopping online — you could see that when we had barbecues and patio sets going through the mail in the summertime.

“It started coming early, and we saw growth of 30 to 35 per cent or more, depending on the day. We’re seeing record volumes.”

Read more: Millions of mail-in ballots in pandemic election would not be a problem, Canada Post exec says

Hamilton said online shopping, however, is only one piece of the increased mail. Since pandemic restrictions in Manitoba and other provinces mean people can’t visit loved ones in person to deliver gifts and cards, the post office is the next best way to connect for many.

With the excess amount of mail, Hamilton said, all 21 of Canada Post’s processing plants across the country are doing what they can to ensure mail arrives on time, and that means your packages might take a more circuitous route than you might expect.

“You have to think of it as a network. We leverage the full network, so wherever we can move things through and process them quicker so we can get them out for delivery, we will,” he said.

“If you’re tracking your items… you may see them take a different path. That’s just us fully leveraging the processing capacity we have across the country.”

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Canada Post has added more than 4,000 seasonal employees across the country and over 1,000 vehicles to its fleet to deal with the extra volume.

Hamilton said Canada Post made over 1.1 million parcel deliveries over the weekend, and it doesn’t look like that number will shrink, especially as the deadline — which he pegged as Dec. 18 — to get packages out before Christmas is close at hand.

“It’s an all-out demand.”

Read more: Canada Post moves up pre-holiday deadlines after coronavirus drives up demand

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Still have Christmas gifts to mail? Time is running out

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