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Huge online demand expected, Canada Post says shop early

With more Canadians expected to holiday shop online, the postal service is encouraging people to get their gift purchases out of the way to avoid the rush, Amazon hiring, too
Canada Post is recommending Tri-City residents do their online holiday shopping early
Canada Post is recommending Tri-City residents do their online holiday shopping early to avoid delays. The jump in parcel post demand comes as B.C. residents are sending in mail-in ballots for the upcoming provincial election.

It’s not even Halloween but already Canada Post is warning Canadians to get their shopping and mailing done early to avoid the holiday season rush.

With more people expected to shop online due to COVID-19, the national mail service is advising people to do their online shopping early to avoid delays.

“Canadian shopping habits have dramatically and permanently shifted in response to COVID-19, resulting in a year of significant parcel volumes. To help Canadians avoid disappointment and support businesses across the country, we’re asking them to break with tradition and shop early this holiday season,” the postal service notes in a press release.

In B.C., postal workers will also be handling thousands of mail-in ballots for the upcoming B.C. election.

The deluge means that Canada Post will have to scale up. It’s adding 4,000 temporary seasonal employees across the country, plus more equipment and 1,000 fleet vehicles.

Some communities will also see weekend delivery, more parcel pick up locations and extended hours. 

Canada Post also promises added enhancements to tracking technology to provide customers with more information to follow the progress of their parcels.

The 2020 holiday season plan comes as Amazon is also scaling up, with dozens of jobs posted in recent days in Port Coquitlam and New Westminster for warehouse positions, according to Indeed. 

Cards advertising Amazon jobs were also mailed out to local homes.

It appears the shopping landscape has changed due to COVID-19 with huge swaths of the population switching their shopping habits.

According to a survey conduced in June for Canada Post, 48% of Canadian shoppers plan on spending mostly or exclusively online this coming holiday. 

As well, 54% were open to beginning their shopping in October or early November. 

Shopping early and spreading out purchases is seen as a way to avoiding the traditional short-term surge in online holiday shopping. 

The call for early shopping comes as many Tri-City business owners are hoping more people will shop in their stores to keep their businesses alive during the pandemic, with support local campaigns in every city.