Here is where you get tell us what is wrong with Canada Post. Please email us your comments, frustrations, facts and ideas to More What's Wrong.
Paul Francis, Walks in Spain (2017-05-28):
We despatch hundreds of packs around the world to guests coming on our walking holidays, the only country that we experience problems with (and that includes Africa and remote parts of Australia) is Canada! Come on Canada you're not supposed to be a third world country!
Judy Heil (2017-02-05):
I recently joined a group called The Northern Birthday Box Project. We sent stuff to Inuvik, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Northern Quebec & Labrador. We were informed about new flat rate box that cost $19.99 for 5 kg. Nearest location to me is Toronto which is 2 hours away. Tried all locations, 2 different times, once in January, again in February, but no such luck -- always out of stock. Would like to pre-order them online but was told I could not because it's a new product. So now I have to pay 3 times as much, and because of this, cannot afford to continue with this birthday project, which means somebody's children will not get a birthday box.
Alex Kim (2017-01-12):
My name is Alex Kim, who's running small mail-order business in Korea.
We have a lot customers from Canada, for which we are really grateful, but it is becoming a nightmare because of Canada Post.
Actually, we are figuring out what is wrong with Canada Post lately. Shipping to Canada causes more frequent delays and problems than any other country. Pretty much as bad as Russian Post, but at least Russian Post provides tracking visibility which Canada Post does not. I got an email from Canadian customer who ordered in Oct (which we already refunded) and she says received the package today. Of course, there was no proper explanation for this long long delay. I don't know how Canadian people feel about your mail system, but in here Korea, Canada Post is notorious for lack of responsibility.
About 2 years ago, I remember Canada Post used to be very trustworthy. Way better than USPS. Their tracking system was solid, delivery was quite fast. But all of sudden, I can no longer trust Canada Post. Any clue what is happening there?
I am really curious how Canadian people feel about their mailing system. Apparently there must be a large scale mailorder business in Canada. No doubt there are many problems, too. How are you guys managing this?
Craig Nadeau (2017-01-11):
I operated a mail order business for a couple years. We shipped products to and from just about everywhere in the world. Number two on the worst list was Canada Post. (Number one is Australia so we only used UPS there.) I would cringe when I knew a package was in the hands of Canada Post. Once it crossed the border into the US we could always relax. If a package was getting lost it was in Canada. I have shipped enough to know that there is significant theft in the system. The most valuable or interesting items would always go missing. The insurance system is a complete scam. What other business make you buy additional insurance to cover the basic service. The Chinese postal systems are so good it is amazing.
The reality is that UPS and the other big courier businesses staying in touch with the times, they were not political. Canada Post lacked any foresight to stay in the game and they could have. It won’t be long before Canada Post is just in the history books and delivery is managed by private business.
From Earlb1 (2017-01-09):
Tried to open a small business but Canada Post will not honor delivery times on international mail. As a result, my business lasted 4 months. Had to refund every item shipped because it took 2 months for items to arrive at destination. Also could not get product in a timely fashion; items were taking 2 months to arrive when 7-10 business days was what I paid for. Bankrupt in less than 6 months. Time to move to USA.
From Anonymous Postal Worker (2016-11-16):
I am one of your clients and I've read your page on the issues with Canada Post. I also work for Canada Post as a letter carrier and I understand your frustration with some of the service issues with us.
I want to apologise first for my bad writing. I speak French and I and not sure I you are going to read me if I write in French, therefore I will write in English.
Before you complain about the packet and parcel rates you have to understand the complexity of the issue. Canada Post has to adhere to different laws and regulations. (You already mention on your website the different federal and provincial taxes.)
According to Canada Post Corporation Act and the Canada Post Charter, the Canda Post Corporation (CPC) has to provide the same level of service to all Canadians at affordable rates (definitions are in the Act) and need to conduct its operations on a self-sustaining financial basis. So basically it means delivering mail to all Canadians at no cost for the taxpayers.
If Canada was the only country in the world, this would stop here. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we live in a vast world with close to 200 countries (and they all send mail).
As you would imagine, all the countries in the world send mail and want to be able send mail to others. This requires ships. planes, trains, and somebody to pay for all this. And because some countries send more mail than others, we need a system to compensate the countries that deliver the parcels over the ones that collect the money from the clients. This is why the UN created the United Postal Union (UPU).
There are a lot of very complicated and mostly secret rules about who has to pay for what, and you will understand why you (as a Canadian company that uses mail services a lot) have to pay more than the others.
First, the country that send the mail has to pay for the shipment to the destination country, but because most of the non-industrial countries are not very wealthy, they have a preferred rate on the terminal dues for delivery of the packets and parcels.
Basically an industrial country receives 82 cents per packet delivered from a non-industrial country. On the other hand, a non-industrial country will receive $2.31 for a packet from an industrial country.
It costs the CPC approximately $3 to deliver a packet in its network (depending on size and weight) because of the very low density of our country. Every time we receive a packet from a non-industrial country, we lose $2.19.
Because the CPC is not permitted to lose money, somebody has to pay the $2.19 per parcel it costs to deliver the inbound packets and parcels (guess who?).
You can look at this PowerPoint that explains in detail the complexity of terminal dues.
More bad news for any Canadian business is who is considered to be a non-industrial country. I am sure you got this one right: China, India, Brazil, and Russia are in the group. So you were wondering how it was possible to order an iPhone charger from China for 79 cents but it costs $10 to order it from Canada.
The effect of Amazon or Alibaba will be really bad for the Canadian economy, especially e-commerce. We are currently flooded by products from non-industrial countries. The CPC just built a new processing plant in Vancouver and it is already at overcapacity. They now have to rent industrial warehouse to process these products daily, and I believe it is just starting. The only effect it can have on the domestic rates is to increase them even more (bad news for any Canadian retailer that uses the mail) because the CPC has to be financially sustainable and can't print money.
I know that the UPU terminal rates are renegotiated every four years (2016 is one of them) and that they are planning to change to model as well as the grouping of countries. But I also know that these negotiations are very secretive and there is not a lot of information about this that is shared in the media.
I hope I helped you to understand the complexity of this issue, and I also hope you will continue to do business with the CPC because I hope I can keep my job for another couple of years.
I also agree that the CPC is probably a hard company to do business with and doesn't do much to keep their customers happy (neither to keep their employees happy).
Follow up comment (2017-11-17):
If you are curious and want to know more about the distortions caused by the UPU terminal rates you can read this report, The Economics of Terminal Rates, ordered by the United States Postal Service (USPS).
On page 34 and 35, it highlight some of the issues. For example the non-designated operators (FedEx, UPS, EMS, etc.) don't have to pay the terminal dues even if the CPC or USPS have to deliver the "last mile" for them.
China uses the terminal dues as an economical advantage to keep competition away; because China receive more compensation than it pays, it can keep its rates low and no private companies can compete with its rates.
From Anonymous Postal Worker and Customer (2016-09-05):
There are so many things wrong with Canada Post. This corporation is not a very honest one when you have lousy management, corrupt union and a CEO like Deepak Chopra running it into the ground. In addition, lately it seems like they are trying to cover up anything that can affect the reputation of the company. Ever since news broke out of mail thefts occurring within the Calgary Postal Plant. Here are some examples:
1) Canada Post Supervisor charged for mail theft
Source: CTV News
2) Filipino Postal Worker charged for mail theft
Source: Huffington Post
As an employee of over 10 years and customer who uses the service, it's very bad. I'm so disappointed to work for a company who hires these types of people. Here is my experience working here. As a Canadian citizen I'm very disappointed with the horrible treatment here in the Calgary Plant. I have been discriminated on a daily basis because I am not Filipino and do not understand their native language they use in the workplace. 60 percent of employees (Full-time, part-time & casuals) in the plant are foreign workers from Philippines. There is very strong lazy work ethic going on daily as most workers do is either chat or browse facebook on their mobile phones, as a result mail is being delayed. Management is no better, as most of them do not treat you like a human being rather more like an animal especially the PCR Manager and Tech Services Manager. They take their aggression on postal clerks by making our work lives as miserable as possible for their own benefit. Management does not care about company or anything else except for themselves and their bonuses. The Plant Director sits in his office watching TSN sports nearly everyday! The PCR Staffing officer is just as guilty because she brings and hires mostly Filipino workers. Once they're in, she secretly accepts gifts from them as bribes.
I used to ship packages to my friends in Japan only for them to call me up and told me that they received it damaged which really upset me a lot even though I placed numerous FRAGILE label stickers on the packages. Apparently the postal workers don't care. I found this out when the Filipino postal workers are simply tossing parcels and packages like they were basketballs! Even though the supervisors are around, they simply turned a blind eye for them. I wish I could video record all these wrong doings going on in the Calgary Plant but apparently it's illegal to do that according to company policy. Overall as a customer, I feel cheated from paying such expensive postage fees for low quality service.
That's all for my comments and rants. I apologize if it's very long but this is the truth that Canada Post Corporation will not disclose to the public and Canadians. I hope people will understand the dark truth of the Canadian Post Office.
From David Lay (2016-07-29):
So who is doing what about it? There does not appear to be any political incentive to make Canada Post more competitive internationally. Not much point in my bitching at my local MP if he can safely ignore me.
I found your site in a web search, along with the CTV article on the subject; Pricey parcels: Why does it cost so much to ship from Canada?. Canada post refused to be interviewed.
So how do we make this an issue?
In May 2016 the federal government announced that a review of Canada Post's operations. This is an excellent opportunity to tell the government how Canada Post is hurting your business. We strongly encourage all businesses to get involved with this review. Tell all your business friends and associates to submit their comments too.
From Mahnaz Golshekan (2016-05-07):
I had a package which was a little heavy for me to handle. So I stayed home for the time they deliver. The delivery date, a Monday, I received a delivery notice that they brought it on Monday and I was not home. I called post office (in Shoppers Drug Mart) during their working hours and the lady tell me my package is there (that was before the end of the day when they return the packages). I asked the lady why they did not deliver it to my door, she said they are not supposed to that. Can you believe it? Why do I pay for shipping if they are not delivering to my door. Then I called Canada Post and they said they have to do the first delivery after that leave the notice.
Now I am trying to track a package I mailed the other day and their website takes me to a very strange screen and then epost which I DO NOT need.
Thanks for having this.
From Myles Vaux (2016-03-19):
Who makes the decisions on raising prices for the light packets? Does Canada Post know what they are doing?? I sell very cheap items to the USA via eBay and Etsy and it is no longer affordable and am unable to compete with China etc. on shipping rates.
From Don Snell (2015-11-09):
Just wanted to say that your website is great. As an eBay user I have been dismayed at the high cost of shipping items sold on eBay. Comparatively high shipping rates by Canada Post is killing the chances of small business or individuals to compete. Maybe it is time for them to go or drop their prices.
From Paul Gill (2015-10-21):
This is major complaint. I'm have a disability. I wait for my cheque all month. When my mail carrier has not arrived with my cheque, it is past four and now the bank is closed and I have no food or money. This is unacceptable. I want the supervisor and manager disciplined or fired. They work their cushy jobs while we low income people suffer without our basic needs. This is from the city of Victoria. I live in Saanich. I am so fricken angry yet I know you will respond with a bullshit excuse I have contacted my MLA and govt offices.
From Martin Pagnan (2015-08-11):
How about 2 weeks to get an ordinary letter from Ottawa to Vancouver?
From Art Wong (2015-08-03):
Don't get me started. I agree with all the examples cited. I used to sell items on eBay. Mailing even the small items costs $9-10 quite often more than the item is worth.
From Mark Fowke (2015-06-12):
We are currently in a dispute with Canada Post over surcharges. The crux of the issue is their rounding of parcel sizing and weight, more commonly known as volumetric measurement. When they round the size of our parcels, it bumps it to the next pricing category and we get dinged with a surcharge for what I call 'air freight' since I'm paying to ship air. By not using actual measurement they get away with this illegal practice. And their Ombudsman Office is simply a shill of the Corporation...no help here at all. As you have pointed out, it would be simpler, and cheaper, to produce our product in the USA or elsewhere and ship it into Canada...avoiding the tax and usurious postal rates. We are exploring this possibility at this time.
From Stanley Green (2015-02-18):
We need to privatize this comedy called Canada Post. My suppliers in the UK, who dispatch orders for Canada the same day they are received are amazed at the length it takes for the parcels to arrive in Surrey, B.C. The employees in the Surrey sorting centre could not care less that my parcels are lost, arrive TWO MONTHS later, are vital for my existence.
From Elie Descoteaux (2014-07-15):
First, I would like to fully share my support and extend my gratitude for you to have put this website to show the real color of canada post disastrous management and price structure.
My name is Elie. I have an online business and feel the pain every day, and have come to the realization that Canada Post is creating a literal business sabotage in Canada.
I really like that you took time to order from overseas to show the difference on price structure.
If ever you want to exchange ideas, please feel free to contact me. I might not have the 40 year experience you have but I am very interested in logistics in Canada and the real cost we have to pay for it. I use USPS and Canada Post and can see first hand how much it is creating a wide gap in price equality in both countries.
Here are some points that I think would maybe help create influence:
- The interesting point is that 70% of the parcels delivered by Canada Post come from overseas; this is a huge trade deficit.
- These parcels that are not sent from Canadian businesses, this is revenue lost in Canada, and it is taxes lost in Canada, and all the related indirect jobs being lost and not created.
- We know on big delivery days Canada Post can deliver 1,000,000 parcels. If we take an average of 300,000 a day x 250 days = 75 million parcels. If 70% come from overseas, that is 52.5 million parcels. Let's say at 20$ in value, it would be over 1 billion $. This is very conservative calculating; the real number is more likely close to 3 billion.
- We are not trying to stop parcels from overseas. But what if we started the race on the same line? What if we started to export more? What is the real cost of high cost parcel mail? What is the revenue lost from a society stand point? All this does is cause businesses to close down or never open.
- Why does it cost more to send a peanut across the street than to receive a parcel from 15,000 kilometres away? - The mailing sorting machine upgrade at Canada Post will read delivery confirmation information from the equivalent of letter post of incoming international mail. But this will not be offered to Canadian businesses. It will accept international mail packages thicker than 2 cm, but not mail packages from us.
Unfortunately, there is not much lobbying for small business like us. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.
From Kelly Pickell (2014-05-06):
The fuel surcharge should be related to distance and how much fuel is used not price. I believe they could be breaking the law with this one.
I ship the same small package from BC to:
BC fuel surcharge $.62
Alberta fuel surcharge $.65
Saskatchewan fuel surcharge $.67
Ontario fuel surcharge $.72
Quebec fuel surcharge $.78
How can it cost only $.10 more in fuel to ship to Ontario than BC? Canada Post calculates the fuel surcharge at 11.50% of the cost, not the distance.
No matter how you slice it we are getting screwed.
From George Irwin (2014-05-06):
Finding your web site was very uplifting - thank you!
Having volunteered to work on a community association committee to deal with Canada Post's Community Mailbox Program I had proposed developing a website to capture the issues and facts that would allow an informed debate to take place. Your website is inspiring and I will be proposing to use it as a model. Our plan is to create a network of community association websites to allow the community associations to collectively work together to get answers from Canada Post.
From Brendan Heng (2013-12-23):
I recently wrote an article on my Dropshipping Blog.
I decided to do my part and spread some awareness around the issue. Like you said, I don't know why mainstream media hasn't picked up on this. It is no secret that Canada's E-Commerce is lagging compared to everyone else and this could very well be a reason. Let me know if have any feedback on the article as well.