VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canadian couriers are bracing for a possible surge in shipments as the Canada Post strike slips into the holiday gift-mailing season.
“It seems like a lot of consumers who are looking for an alternate are utilizing our retail network to do that,” UPS Canada communications director Steven Vitale said. “But overall, it’s our busiest time of the year so mixed together we’ve seen some increased volume for sure.”
However, he says it’s unclear if the volume boost is because of the strike or just the regular start of the holiday season.
He says the last day gift givers could ship something to arrive on Dec. 24 is Dec. 23, but getting parcels in earlier will avoid steep express delivery charges.
In an email, FedEx said it hopes negotiations between Canada Post and its employee union, CUPW, are “resolved amicably,” but that it “has put in place a comprehensive contingency plan to manage unexpected volume.”
While Canada Post says there are hundreds of trailers filled with mail sitting idle because of the strike, the union says there are only upwards of 80 trailers worth of backlog, which could be dealt with in a couple days.
On Thursday, Federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu tabled legislation to force an end to rotating strikes by Canada Post employees. The postal union has warned of a legal battle if the federal government passes the back-to-work legislation.
– With files from Mike Lloyd and Stuart McGinn