Mailing your Christmas gifts? Don't panic yet, you've got (some) time

·2 min read
A FedEx truck is driven through downtown in Los Angeles in this file photo. The company expects shipping volumes this holiday season to break records. (Mike Blake/Reuters - image credit)
A FedEx truck is driven through downtown in Los Angeles in this file photo. The company expects shipping volumes this holiday season to break records. (Mike Blake/Reuters - image credit)

It is the busiest month of the year for a lot of retailers, but they're not the only ones.

After the gifts are bought, they need to be delivered, and shipping services say they expect to be even busier this season than in years past.

Submitted by Valerie Chartrand
Submitted by Valerie Chartrand

Canada Post has been preparing for months.

Thousands of seasonal staff have been hired across the country, 1,000 vehicles have been added to the fleet and increased parcel sorting capacity has been added at sorting centres in Calgary, Vancouver, Regina, Kitchener, Ont., Montreal and Moncton, N.B.

"We are ready," said Valerie Chartrand of Canada Post. "There are more parcels since people are becoming more comfortable shopping online. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday now behind us, we can really feel the holiday season ramping up."

Companies credit e-commerce for brisk business.

But Canada Post isn't the only way to ship.

Other delivery companies like UPS and FedEx are also doing brisk business.

In a statement, James Anderson, communications advisor for FedEx Express Canada, said shipping volumes this holiday season are expected to break records.

Anderson said the company expects that globally, it will deliver 100 million more shipments this holiday season than it did in 2019.

And like Canada Post, FedEx says the increase is due largely to the volume of people doing their holiday shopping online.

"The exponential growth of e-commerce, underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue during the 2021 holiday season, with more packages hitting our network than ever before," the statement reads.

Timing is everything

So when should you ship if you want those gifts to arrive before Santa does?

FedEx encourages all customers who are planning to shop online to shop and ship as early as possible.

But if you are a Christmas procrastinator, there is still hope.

"We have options right up until the last minute for procrastinators," said Canada Post's Valerie Chartrand with a chuckle.

Customers should check online for each company's drop-dead delivery dates, as they differ across companies and regions. In general, customers should have until mid-month at the latest to send to most international destinations and up until Dec. 21 to ship within Canada.

The caveat to all of this is British Columbia, which has experienced severe weather leading to supply-chain issues.

Mail delivery continues wherever possible, but Canada Post warns customers may experience delays shipping to B.C. or shipping from B.C. to other parts of the country.

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