Opinion: Canada Post Community Mailboxes Better Serve eCommerce Industry

January 3, 2014 Ben Myers

Canada Post Community Mailboxes

Canada Post announced in mid-December that it is ending home mailbox delivery for 5 million urban Canadians as it changes its delivery services over the next five years. How can this possibly be good for eCommerce? Here’s what Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra said in mid-December:

“If the mail is changing its shape and size, don’t we think the mailbox should change its size too?” he rhetorically asked Members of Parliament during a hearing on the announced changes.

Compare these statistics: 1 billion fewer pieces of mail were sent in 2012 than in 2007, while Canada Post recently stated that they had a 20 percent increase in parcel volume from the third week of November when compared to the same period in 2012. In December, Canada Post set a new single-day record with 1.25 million parcels delivered.

You might receive fewer pieces of mail, but the parcels you receive are bigger than your mailbox and too valuable to be left on your doorstep unguarded. That’s why you might also be familiar with the delivery notice that is often left on doors when no one is home to accept a delivery. So what is the key to delivering more packages more quickly? A bigger mailbox.

Canada Post Delivery Notice

Community mailboxes (think of them as small street-side lockers) will be installed in many urban neighborhoods to replace residential delivery. The bonus is that they will allow some small parcels to be dropped securely behind locked doors, so that people can get their parcels directly from their mailbox, rather than a delivery notice.

These community mailboxes will also have a parcel-specific compartment (the lower portion of the centre and left mailboxes in the image at top) that can be shared securely so that even larger parcels can be dropped off.

eCommerce continues to grow in Canada. Early predictions from eMarketer say that 2013 online sales jumped 18% compared to 2012, and will continue to grow between 13 and 18% year-over-year until 2017. All those packages have to be delivered somehow, and the move to larger mailboxes makes receiving parcels easier than ever.

The bottom line is that people are sending more parcels and fewer pieces of mail. Our mailboxes are changing as a result of this trend, and Canada Post is making a positive step to enable the future growth of eCommerce and the required parcel delivery in Canada.

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