Online shopping big boon for Canada Post

Many shoppers turning to internet for purchases

Published on December 26, 2015

Jason Blackman delivers parcels for Canada Post. The Crown corporation predicts another record-breaking holiday season for parcel deliveries.

©Guardian photo by Heather Taweel

Canada Post is seeing its biggest year yet in P.E.I. — resulting largely from online shopping.

Danielle Gillan says she does half of her holiday shopping online, mostly out of convenience when buying for her children.

"I wanted to get it done early and get exactly what I want online for the kids," Gillan said.

"I do try to shop local as much as I can, but for some of the bigger items I had to go [online]," she says, "I don't feel bad buying from the big guys like Toys R Us, but I do try to go to stores like Owls Hollow to support local."

Millions of Canadians are doing more shopping online every year; a shopping trend, Canada Post spokeswoman Anick Losier says. P.E.I. is leader of the practice on the East Coast.

"Of all the Maritime provinces, P.E.I. is growing the most. ... With a 17 per cent increase in parcel volume," Losier says. "The same growth we are seeing in Alberta, Ontario and B.C."

"We are hitting all kinds of records at Canada Post," Losier says. "We deliver two-thirds of the parcels bought online and delivered 1.4 million on Monday — the first time we've reached that high."

"On a typical day in Dieppe we process 8000 to 10,000 parcels a day," she says, "We are now looking at 50,000 parcels per day. ... It's fascinating to see."

UPS and FedEx take major portions of the remaining third of the deliveries in Canada, each unable to provide specific market-specific data but claiming that this is going to be another big year for them.

Lisa Canzona, spokeswoman for UPS Canada, and Jim Masilak, spokesman from FedEx, predict that their companies will double the typical daily delivery volume this season.

Masilak estimates that FedEx will see 317 million shipments worldwide this season: "a 12.4 per cent increase in year-over-year seasonal volume," he says.

Canzona forecasts UPS will "deliver 630 million packages. ... a 10 per cent increase from 2014." A rise, she notes, that peaked on Dec. 22 with 36 million packages delivered worldwide.