With all efforts exhausted to restore operations while the labour dispute continues, Canada Post is advising commercial customers and Canadians that mail and parcels in or entering its network will have long and unpredictable delays before being delivered.
This is likely to be the situation for the foreseeable future, meaning the next several weeks, including the peak holiday season and through January 2019.
The postal service remains operational, but it is not able to honour its delivery standards for any product because of prolonged and ongoing rotating strikes. The strikes have created massive backlogs of mail and parcels already in our network, just days before we expect millions more parcels from Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales.
The extra resources that normally allow Canada Post to deliver peak volumes are all constrained because of ongoing rotating strikes and labour disruptions. Employees represented by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are no longer working overtime or weekends and temporary employees are discouraged from working extra hours. With the backlogs, customers are running out of trailers and equipment, such as containers, because they are sitting full of parcels and mail, unable to be unloaded, rather than being emptied and made available for the next customer.
While there will be delays across the country, Canada Post expects the worst delays for mail and parcels will be for items that originate or are destined for southern and southwestern Ontario. This is because the country's largest and busiest mail and parcels processing plants, in Toronto, have the highest volumes and have been left idle repeatedly for several days by the union's rotating strikes. As central hubs for the entire country, they see a disproportionately large flow of items.
The backlogs also affect mail and parcels entering Canada from other countries. Currently, our facilities in Vancouver, Edmonton and Montréal are also experiencing severe backlogs.
Once Canada Post receives mail or parcels from customers, it is processing and delivering as much as possible on a first-in, first-out basis. International items will require screening by the Canada Border Services Agency and we are working in partnership with them to manage the significant existing backlog.
The best advice we can give to customers looking to mitigate these circumstances for their mailings or parcel inductions is below and will be updated often as circumstances change.
What to expect
Major induction and processing delays for all originating packages and mail coming from Southwestern Ontario (Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton-Kitchener-London, Barrie-Sudbury areas – L, M, N, P postal codes).
Major processing and delivery delays for all packages and mail destined/going to Toronto (L and M postal codes).
As early as the end of the week, Canada Post may be unable to honour pickups and induct items in the GTA due to lack of trailers and space.
Customers can go to canadapost.ca/update for updates or follow us on twitter @canadapostcorp for the latest developments.
Thank you for your continued patience.