Canada closed for business as Royal Mail suspends shipments

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Royal Mail announced before the weekend that they have suspended shipments to Canada until further notice. The ongoing postal negotiations and strikes between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) effectively mean that Canada closed their doors to incoming parcels and it’s hurting ecommerce.

eBay have warned Canadian eBay users of potential delays, especially to inbound purchases arriving from overseas. eBay say that delays in the delivery of mail and parcel services across Canada has built up a significant backlog at Canada Post processing centres due to the the rotating labour actions. eBay emphasise that even with Canada closed, eBay is open for business with the seller community showing ‘incredible resilience and dedication’ in finding alternative solutions to continue to meet customer demands and expectations.

For retailers shipping to Canada, it would be prudent to ship via couriers wherever possible as there is no end to the strikes in sight. This won’t be possible for small light weight items where insufficient carriage has been charged but where there is an economically viable option available it’s the only way that delivery in the immediate future is likely to be successful.

The last posting date for Christmas 2018 to Canada for Royal Mail International Tracked and Signed services is Friday the 14th of December (the International Economy date has already passed – Saturday the 13th of October). If you are going to risk posting to Canada we would strongly suggest that you ship as soon as possible or use a courier service if you want your parcel delivered in time for Christmas.

“As a result of ongoing industrial action, we have now been requested to suspend the dispatching of international traffic destined for Canada, from today until further notice. Items posted yesterday and entering the network today will be held safely in our international distribution centre, awaiting further updates from Canada Post. This applies not only to us, but all International Postal Operators. Canada Post are aware of the impact to all customers and are therefore continuing to attempt to reach a settlement with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). We recommend you consider delaying sending items bound for Canada in the coming days as we expect this to remain the situation until we receive further guidance. However, if you still wish to send items bound for Canada, we are still accepting them and will continue to hold them at our international distribution centre.

Once we know the outcome of the latest negotiations, we will then either suspend our services to Canada, not accepting your items, or we will start to ease our backlog by forwarding items to Canada for distribution. The volume of backlogs currently being seen in Canada mean that it will take some time to clear these items, as overtime hours are being limited by CUPW representatives.”

– Royal Mail, 15th November

6 Responses

  1. It’s interesting too, because if the UK royal mail capped or stopped paying OT, the company would effectively grind to a halt, especially as there are a far greater percentage of part time postal workers than full time, and the majority of part time workers aren’t part time through choice!

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