Holiday shopping in Canada: Supply chain issues, delivery deadlines
BARRIE – Canada Post said it is adding staff and facilities in anticipation of another busy holiday season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A spokesperson for Canada Post told CTVNews.ca in an email Saturday that the company “continues to ramp up for a busy peak holiday season as Canadians have become much more comfortable shopping online.” during a pandemic”.
The company says that in 2020, in the two weeks ending Christmas Eve, its employees delivered nearly 20 million parcels to Canadians. A record 2.4 million of those were delivered on December 21.
However, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing issues in the global supply chain, should Canadians be concerned about holiday delivery delays?
Here’s a closer look at what’s going on.
PLEASE DO SHOPPING EARLY ON HOLIDAYS
David Soberman is a professor of marketing at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
He told CTVNews.ca that ultimately, shipping companies like Canada Post are the “last link” when it comes to global supply chains and getting goods to consumers.
“Most of the problems in the supply chain are happening at the retail level and further upstream,” he said in a phone interview on Saturday.
Aside from ramping up capacity to deal with the high volume of packages during the holiday season, Soberman said there isn’t much other shipping companies can do to mitigate these problems for consumers.
He said customers should make sure they check the expected delivery dates listed by retailers online, to make sure their holiday gifts arrive on time.
However, Soberman warns that some specific, popular items may be especially hard to find this year.
“What would someone do if they went into Canadian Tire and couldn’t find something — they would start looking on Amazon.ca, or maybe they would look on Walmart.ca,” he said. “And then they will start searching on other sites.”
He says if everyone is looking for the same item, “you won’t be able to get it in the end.”
“And that’s what happens with some of the more common items — certain toys, certain board games, certain electronic devices, etc,” he said.
Consumers should try to complete their holiday shopping as soon as possible, says Soberman, and should have backup gift ideas for their loved ones, in case the item they want isn’t available.
Soberman also pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying if new variants were discovered in Canada, or pandemic? Worse, some areas may be subject to new lockdowns or restrictions, which could hinder holiday shopping.
“Shop as soon as possible,” he said.
WHAT DOES CANADA’S POST SAY?
Canada Post says it encourages customers to “take the time and do online research with retailers to understand the availability of certain items and ensure they are not disappointed”.
The company has also come up with a schedule for sending out holiday packages and cards. The dates vary depending on what you’re sending and where.
The deadline to send a package by regular mail to an address in Canada is December 9, while customers have until December 21 to send priority packages within Canada.
The deadline to send cards nationwide is December 17.
You can find all the details, including international shipping deadlines, here.
Canada Post says the company is also taking some measures to keep up with the busy holiday season.
The company said it is hiring an additional 4,200 seasonal workers nationwide and adding 1,400 vehicles to its fleet.
Canada Post is also “taking advantage of the recently added sorting capacity” in Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Kitchener, Montreal and Moncton.
The company said it is also adding “temporary parcel pick-up locations” in major urban centers and secondary markets to “relieve congestion and queues for holiday parcel pickup in select locations.” our post office is busier.”
WHAT DOES UPS SAY?
In an email to CTVNews.ca, a UPS spokesperson did not acknowledge any concerns about shipping delays, but said “the company’s dedicated employees have made UPS well equipped to deal with responding to the challenges of the pandemic and the peak holiday season.”
The company said by the end of next year it will also add 49 new aircraft to its fleet from 2017 and said it will add two million square feet of automated facilities by the end of the year. . According to UPS, nearly 90% of its packages will go through these automated facilities.
UPS says investments in technology and additional air and ground capacity mean it can process about 130,000 more messages per hour than it did last year.
CTVNews.ca has also reached out to Amazon and FedEx to determine if Canadian customers may see delivery delays, but has not heard back at the time of publication.