Waiting for a package? Canada Post dealing with unprecedented demand during pandemic
A Canada Post van is pictured in Saskatoon on Dec. 5, 2019. (Chad Leroux/CTV Saskatoon)
OTTAWA -- Canada Post says it understands your frustration as you wait for that package to arrive in the mail.
There has been an unprecedented demand for mail delivery across Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic began in mid-March. Canada Post set an all-time, one-day record for parcels delivered on May 19, with 2.1 million parcels delivered across Canada.
“There’s two things going on. One we’re seeing Christmas-like levels in terms of parcels, in terms of the online shopping,” said Jon Hamilton, Canada Post spokesperson during an interview on CTV News at Five.
“On the other hand, we are working to keep our people safe. We have physical distancing in our plants; they were never designed to keep people two metres apart. So it does take us a little bit longer, but we are delivering on weekends, we’re processing 24/7.”
Canada Post has brought in temporary employees to help with the processing and delivering of packages. In Montreal, the Canada Post processing plant has logged 15,000 hours of employee overtime to accommodate demand.
Many Canadians have expressed frustration on social media that the parcel they are waiting for has been sitting at a processing plant for days or weeks, or the parcel has moved to a different location.
“They may see us move it to another location because we’re trying to optimize one of the 21 processing plants in our network to get it to you faster,” said Hamilton, noting some parcels may take a different route to its final destination.
“They may see delays as it is waiting for processing within a facility. Stuff continuously is flowing into our facilities 24/7, right around the clock, but it might wait in the yard for a little bit of time before we can get it in for processing.”
The 2.1 million parcels delivered on May 18 is approximately three times the normal volume for this time of year.
Hamilton says Canada Post understands your frustration with the delays, and staff are working to reduce the backlog and deliver the packages
“We’re putting all of the resources that we can added to try and get it moving as quickly as possible,” said Hamilton.
“But, we also need to make sure we don’t undermine those safety protocols that we put in place to keep our people safe during the COVID pandemic.”