May 22th 2020 - Late deliveries piling up at Canada Post and Purolator since the beginning of the crisis*

May 22, 2020 3:18:56 EDT PM / by Matt Lessard

The increased delays are especially striking at Canada Post and Purolator since April 12, 2020, with the week of May 10 setting records in terms of delivery delays at Purolator with delays reaching 25.37%, up from 12.28% a week earlier. One of Buster Fetcher’s customers had delays for 83.91% of his 100 shipments during the week of May 10 compared to delays on 33.33% of 200 shipments a week earlier.

BusterFetcher_Covid_UpdateR_22_05_20_ENG-1Carriers suspend their on-time delivery guarantee

Incidentally, the near two-fold increase in delays at Purolator coincides with the week the carrier decided to suspend its on-time delivery guarantee.

At Canada Post, where their guarantee was also suspended in the last few weeks, the steady increase in delays continues, with percentages going from 37.14% to 39.91% between May 3 and 10. Back in the week of April 12, 20% of packages were delivered late.

Parcels are delivered on average 2.2 days late, which means that some packages are delivered even later. One of Buster Fetcher’s customers had a parcel reach its destination after 22 days, a record with Canada Post as far as we’re concerned.

Variations between provinces

The province of Quebec is not in the worst position in terms of delivery delays. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick topped this not-so-envious list during the week of May 10.

From the looks of it, the worst possible scenario is to send a parcel from Quebec to Nova Scotia; 79.82% of shipments made with Canada Post in this direction arrive late.

As for Purolator, the problem lies in Ontario, wherein sending a parcel from Quebec to Ontario will result in a late delivery 47.67% of the time.


Express delivery? Not so fast! 

Based on Buster Fetcher’s customer observations, the extra cost for Canada Post Xpresspost™ or Priority™ services are not worth the investment since no significant improvement in delivery speed is observed compared to the Expedited Parcel service.

Packages sent by Priority™ were delivered on average after 3.1 days, compared to 3 days for Xpresspost™ and 2.9 days for Expedited Parcel. Of course, some priority parcels are delivered on time, but these statistics demonstrate a trend towards delays. 62.89% of Priority™ parcels were delivered late during the week of May 10.

As for Purolator, their Express® service remains the best option compared to Ground®.


Financial losses for online merchants

For online merchants however, the problem since the beginning of the pandemic goes beyond late deliveries.

As mentioned above, Canada Post suspended its on-time delivery guarantees on March 18 and Purolator followed suit last week.

Yet, Purolator experienced three times more delays in its deliveries during the week of May 10 compared to the week of April 12. Go figure…

Even if Canada Post and Purolator deal with a much higher volume of parcels in this time of crisis, one may wonder if suspending its on-time delivery guarantee is the best strategy to improve – let alone maintain – their level of service, knowing the negative financial impact this has on its customers.

Many merchants rely on these guarantees and the possibility of refunds to help offset the losses incurred during the current pandemic.

If a business is not accountable to its clients by suspending its guarantees, are they really improving the quality of their services?

The data we’ve gathered seems to prove the contrary.


* Statistics are based on Buster Fetcher’s analysis of shipments made by its customers across Canada (almost 1000) who ship across the country and internationally. Though there may be discrepancies with official data released by the carriers themselves, our statistics still help paint the portrait of the situation in this time of crisis.



Canada Post shows an average delay of 2.2 days during the week of May 10 compared to 1.3 days during the week of April 12. Delays have nearly doubled in a week at Purolator when comparing the weeks of May 3 and 10.

Both carriers have suspended their on-time delivery guarantees recently.




Matt Lessard

Wrote by Matt Lessard

Passionné d’entrepreneuriat depuis mon enfance, je me suis orienté rapidement vers le commerce électronique. Après avoir œuvré longtemps en conception Web, je suis devenu propriétaire de ma propre boutique en ligne qui expédie une cinquantaine de colis chaque jour dans plus de 75 pays. J’aime trouver les meilleures ressources pour accélérer la progression des entrepreneurs que je rencontre.

Passionate about entrepreneurship since my childhood, and even more about e-commerce businesses, I like to find the best tools and resources to help fellow entrepreneurs to grow their business exponentially. After years of growing other businesses, I launched a couple of years ago, my own online store, which now ships about fifty parcels every day in more than 75 countries.