FAQs about signing a transportation or goods and services contract with Canada Post

Learn about our contract purchasing practices, invoicing and payments processes for suppliers who want to submit applications for transportation and goods and services contracts or retail partnerships.

Purchasing philosophy

It’s the policy of Canada Post Corporation to compete fairly, ensure marketing and competitive practices respond to customer needs, and comply with all applicable legislation. Our objectives as a major Canadian corporation are to provide the most reliable, affordable and accessible mail service to the Canadian public. We believe that the more a supplier understands Canada Post's business and buying policies, the more effective they will be in contributing to the corporate objectives.

We recognize the vital role suppliers play in our operations and have learned that mutual reliance and respect form the basis of an excellent relationship.

Buying practices

It’s the policy of Canada Post Corporation to contract for goods and services with the objective of attaining the best overall value. Canada Post contracts with those suppliers who satisfy the Corporation's objectives of obtaining quality goods and services in a timely manner and meeting the specifications and have competitive prices.

Throughout the procurement and expenditure contracting process, Canada Post:

  1. Will establish and maintain productive business relationships with suppliers who share the Corporation's commitment to provide quality products and services to its customers, and who reflect their commitment to excellence through their business relations with Canada Post.
  2. Will demonstrate the value the corporation places on such business relations with its suppliers by visibly continuing its commitment to professional and ethical conduct in all aspects of its procurement activities.

As a Crown Corporation, Canada Post's procurement, where applicable, is conducted with due regard to the requirements of international trade agreements. Purchases subject to the NAFTA, AIT and CETA Agreements are published via MERX. Bid packages for procurements subject to trade agreements must be ordered through MERX.

Sourcing suppliers

For purchases not subject to trade agreements, requests may be published on MERX or suppliers may be identified from past experience with CPC, industry directories, Internet, industry and associated information sources including catalogues and journals, trade shows and conferences.

Tender opening

Canada Post does not open tenders in public, nor do we reveal any information contained in the responses to our requirements, except as required by trade agreements or otherwise by law. We firmly believe this would have an impact on our ability to conduct business in a fair and competitive bidding environment.

Issuance of contract

In general, all contracts are issued by Canada Post Sourcing Management following the formal evaluation process. Suppliers who best fit our overall needs will be invited to enter into negotiations, which may lead to the formulation of a formal contract.

End users are not authorized to enter into agreements with suppliers. Suppliers are not to supply goods or services before a purchase order or contract is in place and they should not perform work beyond the scope of an existing contract.

Sourcing management

The Canada Post Sourcing Management sincerely values the special relationship that exists between Canada Post and its suppliers. We’re always willing to discuss developments, improved performance or lower costs if these help us meet our objective of reliable, cost-effective services to the Canadian public.

eProcurement process

Business to Business eProcurement system

Allows our users to purchase authorized goods and services on-line from predefined suppliers.

Electronic communication with suppliers (in the form of purchase order and invoices)

To facilitate the purchasing process.

Electronic funds transfer

To streamline the accounts payable process.

eProcurement

Authorized Canada Post employees have access to a Web-based eProcurement system. For employees, this represents a single portal for the acquisition of goods and services.

Electronic purchase orders

Purchase Orders are sent to the supplier in electronic format (either an e-mail address or fax number).

Electronic invoicing

Canada Post's preferred method of receiving invoices from suppliers is via electronic means, either in an .xml or .txt format (specifications available on request).

Elimination of invoicing

Specific circumstances allow payments to be generated to suppliers upon Canada Post employees acknowledging the receipt of a good or service without an invoice.

Electronic payment

Where possible, Canada Post will send payment via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

As a supplier for Canada Post, you need to be capable of handling electronic procurement related transactions. After reviewing the information outlined below, you may want to contact your Canada Post Sourcing Management representative to discuss the scope of the existing or potential business relationship.

eProcurement catalogue

As a supplier meeting Canada Post’s criteria for catalogue placement you are required to play a leading role in creating and maintaining catalogue content.

You are required to:

  • Assign a single point of contact for all eProcurement activity with Canada Post; someone with a detailed knowledge of your product portfolio, including familiarity with manufacturer part numbers, pricing, photographs and aliases (for example, alternative product names to enable the catalogue search function).
  • Provide product information in a specified format for placement on Canada Post eProcurement catalogue.
  • Integrate XML purchase orders into your order entry system (if applicable).

Please note that supplier specific catalogues or supplier order generating platforms (WEB based) are only considered under circumstances determined by Canada Post.

Electronic purchase orders

Purchase orders are sent to the supplier in an electronic format to either an email address or facsimile number.

Where the required communications network does not exist or the use of such technology is not feasible, such as in rural or remote areas, the traditional means of purchase order delivery continue to be used.

For those suppliers who are using a full functionality business connect solution where electronic orders are directly transferred into the supplier's order entry, fulfillment, and inventory system, Canada Post's environment can in most cases accommodate this functionality.

Electronic invoicing

Canada Post's preferred method of receiving invoices from suppliers is via electronic means.

Exact details of the invoice layout (field size, descriptions, etc.) and txt or XML requirements are available on request. It is imperative that the supplier invoices comply with the agreed to file format, layout requirements and include reference to a valid Canada Post Purchase Order Number. Non-compliant invoices will be returned for correction prior to processing for payment.

Service entry sheet

For services received by Canada Post, an entry must be posted in the Canada Post ERP system in order to signify delivery and acceptance of the services. Depending upon the nature of the services and the supplier's business relationship with Canada Post, the supplier may be requested to enter the Service Entry Sheet posting on Canada Post's behalf.

Canada Post will provide a short training session (less than 1 day) on how to complete a Service Entry Sheet posting, if such training is required. In cases where training is needed, the supplier is responsible for providing the necessary resources and internet access to support this requirement.

Evaluated receipt settlement

There is the possibility to eliminate the need for supplier invoicing in order to receive payment. This feature is called Evaluated Receipt Settlement (ERS). ERS functionality is triggered when the goods and/or services are acknowledged electronically (see Service Entry Sheet). Acknowledgement of receipt generates payment to the supplier, without the need for invoicing.

When invoked, ERS must apply to all of a supplier's Purchase Orders and cannot be applied selectively to only some orders. ERS is not applicable to all situations. Please discuss your particular business arrangement with your Canada Post Sourcing Management representative.

Payment

As a supplier of Canada Post, you are required (where possible) to accept payment via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). As part of the EFT payment process confirmation of payment (paper remittance notice) is mailed to you following each payment. As part of any contract negotiated with Canada Post, suppliers are required to provide all necessary banking information to permit payment via EFT.

Contacts related to the tendering process

For information on NAFTA:

Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada

Inquiry Service

Lester B. Pearson Building

125 Sussex Dr.

Ottawa ON K1A 0G2

Telephone: 1-800-267-8376

Ottawa only: 944-4000

MERX

For more information about MERX or to subscribe, call:

Monday to Friday

1-800-964-6379, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET

Fax: 1-888-235-5800