As the holidays near and the pandemic continues, Canada Post is anticipating heavy parcel volumes due to increased online shopping.
The Crown corporation is taking a number of measures to prepare for the season, including more staffing and maintaining health protocol.
“We will continue to put the safety of our employees and the people we serve first as we implement our 2020 holiday peak season plan,” said Phil Legault, Canada Post spokesperson.
Throughout the pandemic many consumers increasingly moved their shopping online, according to Canada Post.
In June, the corporation conducted a survey which found 48 per cent of shoppers also plan to do most or all of their holiday shopping online this year.
Moreover, 54 per cent of respondents said they planned to begin shopping in October or early November.
Canada Post recommends consumers planning to do their Christmas shopping online start early to avoid “disappointment,” Legault said.
“Shopping early and spreading out purchases is key to avoiding the traditional short-term surge in online holiday shopping,” a statement by Canada Post reads.
“With the expected volumes, the addition of a traditional holiday parcel surge has the potential to overwhelm capacity and cause significant delays.”
According to Canada Post, the 2020 holiday peak season plan will include the hiring of more than 4,000 temporary seasonal employees.
Legault told Town & Country News the 4,000 new employees will be working in processing, transportation and delivery throughout Canada.
Many of the temporary staff will be working in large processing centres in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto rather than post offices, he said.
The plan also calls for Canada Post to increase its fleet by more than 1,000 vehicles and adding key equipment.
Additionally, Canada Post is enhancing its mail tracking technology to give customers more information about how their parcels are progressing through the system, Legault said.
Legault told Town & Country News the measures Canada Post has taken to protect its staff during the pandemic were implemented early in the spring.
These include modified scheduling and work layouts to keep employees at least two metres apart in the corporation’s facilities, he said.