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Canada Post preparing to safely deliver this holiday season


Monday, October 19, 2020 8:00:00 AM

- Shopping early key to avoiding a potential Christmas capacity crunch. -

In a year where Canadians shifted much of their shopping online in response to COVID-19, Canada Post is planning for a Christmas season like no other. 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. As Canada's parcel delivery leader, we're implementing plans to scale up and stay safe while asking Canadians to start their shopping early to avoid disappointment.

A survey conducted for Canada Post in June 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. Shopping early and spreading out purchases is key to avoiding the traditional short-term surge in online holiday shopping. With the expected volumes, the addition of a traditional holiday parcel surge has the potential to overwhelm capacity and cause significant delays.

Scaling up and staying safe

Canada Post will continue to put the safety of our employees and the people we serve first as we respond to the significant holiday parcel demand. The learnings from providing an essential service throughout this challenging year have been applied to our peak holiday plans as we continue to follow the guidance of public health officials.

To scale-up, Canada Post is enacting a comprehensive 2020 Holiday peak season plan:

- We're adding more than 4,000 temporary seasonal employees, increasing our fleet by more than 1,000 vehicles and adding key equipment.
- We'll deliver on weekends in many communities, add more parcel pickup locations and hours at many post offices will be extended. Processing equipment has been added at key locations in our network and will be fully utilized.
- We've added enhancements to our tracking technology to provide customers with improved information as they follow the progress of their parcels.
- Canada Post is also working with major customers to manage demand, improve the flow of parcels within our network and encourage Canadians to shop early.

Shopping early to avoid disappointment

Canadian shopping habits have dramatically and permanently shifted in response to COVID-19, resulting in a year of significant parcel volumes. To help Canadians avoid disappointment and support businesses across the country, we're asking them to break with tradition and shop early this holiday season. This will help to spread out the expected demand and avoid a Christmas capacity crunch. 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 Christmas. 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.

Customers should also look for tips and sales through their favourite retailers, read their online shipping information and track items after purchase. In addition, anyone sending a parcel to friends or loved ones this holiday should do so as early as possible.

Staying safe through the busy season

Canada Post has followed the guidance of public health officials at the national and local level throughout the year to keep our people, and the communities we serve, safe. We have also ensured we follow the various public health guidelines in every community we serve. Our commitment to safety, which includes physical distancing in all facets of our operations including delivery, will continue throughout the busy holiday season.

SOURCE: Canada Post