The Canada Post worker strike is now in its third week and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
While the strike is a rotating strike, meaning it moves almost daily from one location to another, it has hit the three largest processing centers in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal for up to 48 hours.
This affects the larger network as many parcels and mail are not moving on to their next destinations and then overloads the regional sorting and processing centers.
But since the strike is now in its third week and the two parties have made apparently little progress in the labor talks. Even the union now believes this could be a long one.
Time to Make Alternate Plans
Many Canadian online retailers already have shifted from Canada Post to alternative shipping carriers.
This strategy may now become important for U.S. and other out-of-country sellers as we enter the holiday season.
When the strike ends, it will probably take up to two weeks to return the system to normal processing times.
Not only will Canada Post have to clear the backlog of parcels and mail, but some Canadian buyers may wait until the strike is over to place their holiday season orders.
That will also create an immediate influx of new parcels into the system, prolonging the backlog situation.
Therefore, it is wise for out-of-country sellers to make sure Canadian buyers know they are facing potentially extended delivery delays even right after the strike ends.
At a minimum, U.S. and other foreign-based sellers should offer alternative shipping methods that have delivery guarantee promises for those Canadian buyers that are concerned about receiving their orders in time.
And if this strike continues into late November or early December, there is also the option to exclude shipping to Canada to avoid problems. Not ideal, but at some point it may have to become a consideration.
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