We understand the important role Canada Post plays in delivering the holidays for Canadians, and in supporting Canadian online retailers to be successful, especially at this time of year. While significant and uneven backlogs continue to pose a challenge, we are processing and delivering mail and parcels across the country and have taken every extra effort to get caught up as quickly as possible.
Status of operations
As we have communicated earlier, we expect to be current on holiday letter mail processing and delivery prior to Christmas.
Significant and uneven parcel backlogs persist across the country and continue to challenge our operations as heavy holiday parcel volumes arrive daily. Understanding the central role we play in delivering the holidays for Canadians and Canadian retailers, it is our priority to deliver as much as possible before Christmas. However, existing backlogs, along with other complicating factors such as protest blockades at our facilities and any potential severe winter weather events, means delivery will be hampered and unpredictable through to January.
We’ve fully enacted our holiday plans with measures to get caught up as quickly as possible. Employees are being offered voluntary over-time and almost 4,000 additional seasonal employees have been brought on to provide much needed processing and delivery support. We’ve bolstered our fleet with 1400 rental vehicles for additional deliveries and an additional 500 to keep product moving through the network. As the backlog is uneven across the country, we are also moving volumes between major centres in an effort to get parcels to their destination faster.
Every delivery day is important in this compressed holiday delivery season. There are now 11 regular delivery days and two weekends left before Christmas. Over the weekend, we were able to deliver more than 750 thousand parcels without delays from protests or severe weather.
The embargo on items arriving from International Posts was lifted on November 27th. Based on current incoming volumes and discussions with our international partners, we now expect to receive roughly half the daily volumes we had projected this holiday season. Some postal administrations are continuing to monitor our progress before sending any additional volumes through our network. With reduced international volumes and our continued work in partnership with the Canada Border Services Agency, we expect to be current on International items in January. There may be a modest delay for some international packages leaving Canada for other countries.
On November 13, 2018 Canada Post suspended service delivery guarantees due to the backlogs caused by ongoing strike activity. This meant that, while we continued to operate, we were no longer able to commit to the standard delivery time windows for parcels and other items. We continue to deliver, but due to the backlogs and other activities beyond our control, we are unfortunately not in a position to reinstate those guarantees.
We thank our customers for their patience and understanding and will continue to provide regular updates on the status of our operations.